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Life Expectancy at Birth in China, Europe, USA and India: 1950-2050 (Both Sexes)

Source: World Population Prospects, the 2008 Revision. United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), Population Division, New York. See:
Note: Scale starts at age 35 to better illustrate differences between countries. Europe (48) see Glossary

China's life expectancy at birth increased significantly in the late 1960s after the "Great Leap Forward". Today, China's life expectancy for both sexes is remarkably close to the average life expectancy of Europe - just some 2 years lower. Europe's life expectancy for both sexes, however, is about 4 years lower than in the United States of America - due to the exceptionally low level of life expectancy in Eastern Europe.

Compared to China, India's life expectancy for both sexes has increased much slower. Today, it is more than 8 years below the level of China and more than 14 years below the level of the United States of America.

These numbers demonstrate the remarkable development success of China, whose government has focused on bringing basic health care to most (rural) regions and social groups. While India certainly has world-class hospitals and doctors, basic health care, hygiene, and health education has apparently not reached all sections of the population.

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This data section was updated on 18 December 2011

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Copyright 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011 by Gerhard K. Heilig. All rights reserved. - 18 April 2012