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Hongkongers top life expectancy rankings worldwide for second year in a row

by July 29, 2017 General

Hongkongers continue to have the highest life expectancy in the world, surpassing Japan’s men and women for the second consecutive year, according to the Japanese government.

The city topped the charts for longevity after taking the crown last year, with men expected to live to 81.32 years, while women are expected to reach 87.34 years, according to newly released rankings from Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare.

Japan’s men and women came in second, with a life expectancy of 80.98 and 87.14 years respectively.

The life expectancies from both Japan and Hong Kong have increased from the year before.

According to previous numbers, Hong Kong men could expect to live to 81.24 years, while women had an expected lifespan of 87.32 years. Experts had noted that the longevity of the city’s residents were due to a low smoking rate, as well as low infant and maternal mortality rates.

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Japanese women have historically had the highest life expectancy in the world, leading all countries between 1985 and 2010. But they were surpassed by statistics for Hong Kong women in 2011 after Japan’s catastrophic earthquake and tsunami.

From 2012 to 2014, Japanese women regained the top spot, but Hong Kong overtook them yet again the following year.

In its report this year, the Japanese ministry noted it was difficult to compare life expectancies accurately between countries, as the statistics could be from different time periods.

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The lowest life expectancy listed in the report was for South Africa, where men and women are expected to live to 53.5 and 57.2 years respectively.

Like much of Asia, Hong Kong has an increasingly ageing population – by 2030, one in four Hong Kong residents are expected to be aged 65 or over.

Male life expectancy

1. Hong Kong: 81.32

2. Japan: 80.98

3. Cyprus: 80.9

4. Iceland: 80.7

5. Switzerland: 80.7

6. Norway: 80.61

7. Singapore: 80.6

8. Sweden: 80.56

9. Australia: 80.4

10. Israel: 80.3

Female life expectancy

1. Hong Kong: 87.34

2. Japan: 87.14

3. Spain: 85.42

4. France: 85.4

5. South Korea: 85.2

6. Singapore: 85.1

7. Switzerland: 84.9

8. Cyprus: 84.7

9. Italy: 84.606

10. Australia: 84.5

Source: Japan’s Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare