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Spain to have world’s longest life expectancy by 2040



elderly man Spain
Nunez, 112, poses for a portrait at his home in Bienvenida,
Badajoz, southern Spain, December 11, 2016.

Andrea Comas/Reuters

  • Japan has had the longest life expectancy in the world for
  • But a study in the journal Lancet says Spain will earn the
    first-place post by 2040 with a life expectancy of 85.8 years.
  • Spain ranks highly in lists of healthy countries; most
    recently, it tied for first place in the World Economic Forum’s
    Global Competitiveness Report. 
  • The United States, meanwhile, will fall significantly in the
    rankings, reaching 64th place by 2040.

Japan will soon lose its long-standing title as the country with
the longest life expectancy. 

According to a
study published Tuesday in the journal Lancet
, Spain is on
track to overtake Japan by 2040. It’s 85.8-year life expectancy
will just surpass the 85.7-year life expectancy in Japan and the
85.4-year average in Singapore.

The remainder of the top 10 will feature Switzerland, Portugal,
Italy, Israel, France, Luxembourg, and Australia, according to
the study.

Expatica, an online guide for expats, estimates that
Spain spends about 10% of its GDP on healthcare
. Spain
also ranks highly in lists of healthcare systems around the
world. The World Economic Forum’s
Global Competitiveness Report
for example, recently listed Spain as one of
countries in the world

Globally, the average rise in life expectancy between 2016 and
2040 is estimated to be 4.4 years, though the United States will
be far below. Americans’ average life expectancy will go up only
1.1 years to 79.8, and the US will drop from 43rd to 64th place
in world rankings.

China, which had a life expectancy of 76.3 years in 2016, is
predicted to hit an average of 81.9 years by 2040. The increase
would put China in 39th place.

Four countries in sub-Saharan Africa will have life expectancies
of less than 65 years by 2040, the study found. Of the 195
countries and territories analyzed, Lesotho will have the lowest
life expectancy, with an average of 57.3 years.

In a worst-case result, Lesotho’s life expectancy could be as low
as 45.3 years, according to the study. The bottom spot is
currently occupied by the Central African Republic, whose life
expectancy the
CIA puts at 52.8 years

Read more:

The 15 unhealthiest countries in the world

The study’s authors, who work at the University of
Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and
relied on the existing
data about diseases
to make their predictions. For example,
they incorporated information about rates of cancer, diabetes,
and HIV/AIDS. 

Alcohol use, tobacco use, high blood pressure, high body mass
index, and high blood sugar cause the highest number of premature
deaths, the study said, and these moralities are expected to
increase. Though other risks, such as unsafe water and child
malnutrition, are expected to decrease, the overall life
expectancy will go up more slowly than before.

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