According to the latest statistics released by World Health Organization (WHO), Chinese babies will have healthier lifespans than American babies, as reported by Shanghaiist.
The research, based on 2016 data, reveals that the Chinese healthy life expectancy at birth has surpassed that of the US for the first time. Chinese babies are now expected to live a healthy life for 68.7 years while the figure for American babies reaches 68.5 years.
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“When comparing healthy life expectancy at birth among different countries around the globe,” Alison Clements-Hunt, representative of WHO, told SCMP. “We found that people from high-income Asian countries such as China, Japan and Korea enjoy more healthy years than those from high-income Western countries.”
Clements-Hunt’s theory is supported by the research results, with Singapore and Japan ranking first and second in the criteria. Singaporean babies are predicted to live 76.2 years of healthy life, nearly 10 years more than that of US babies. At the same time, China is placed 37th in the global rankings while the US ranks 40th.
One important note is that healthy life expectancy does not equate to overall life expectancy. The latter merely estimates how long an individual can live, while the former also factors in diseases and illness.
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Despite China's longer healthy lifespan, America still passes China when it comes to overall life expectancy. In the US the expected number of years is 78.5, compared to China's 76.4.
That being said, according to Clements-Hunt, Chinese life expectancy has increased substantially in the past few years. According to Xinhua, the overall expectancy of China had grown by 1.5 years from 2010 to 2015. Nonetheless, the index for the US has been declining due to issues such as drug overdoses and suicides. As is predicted by Reuters, China may surpass America regarding the overall life expectancy in 2027.
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