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Longer Life, Healthier Life?

Courtesy of

The average human being is living longer than ever before. Nearly every country on the planet has seen an increase in life expectancy since the beginning of the 21st century.

But though we are living longer, not all of us are living healthier.

Health Adjusted Life Expectancy (HALE), or healthy life expectancy, is a metric used by the World Health Organization to measure the number of years a person can expect to live in good health, taking social and economic factors into account alongside disease and disability rates.

When we deduct healthy life expectancy from actual life expectancy, we see the average amount of years someone can expect to live in bad health – or ‘Bad Health Years‘.

This infographic takes a country-by-country look at the change in bad health years since 2000 to see where people are living a longer, healthier life.









Life Expectancy changes since 2000

Besides Bad Health Years, we also made some interesting findings regarding life expectancy.

The Price of Conflict

Only two nations did not register an improvement in life expectancy: Iraq and Syria.

Life expectancy in Iraq stagnated, while in Syria it has decreased by 3 years.


Healthier, longer lives

A number of countries have witnessed a startling increase in life expectancy since the year 2000. The top 10 can all be found in Africa.

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  1. Jaquix


  2. etnorb

    Interesting, especially where a lot of the African countries have experienced a rise in longer life spans!

  3. silkworm

    There are no reasons given for why the bad health years might have increased in certain countries, which seem to be the more developed nations. I would suspect it has something to do with dietary factors, especially sugar and grain (gluten) consumption. It would be useful to compile data on these factors and make comparisons.

  4. Chris

    Then again, silkworm, it may be that older Australians have more visits to their GP, and more prescriptions that they could do without…

  5. silkworm

    Chris, I take it you mean pharmaceuticals. I thought of that, but I think sugar and gluten are the primary causes of gut dysbiosis which underlies most disease.

  6. Johno

    I would definitely put it down to bad diet. Too much meat, dairy, sugar and not enough fruit and vegetables and pulses.

  7. Johno

    The irony here is that what humans are doing to their bodies is very similar to what humans are doing to the planet (global warming). A diet rich in processed foods, meat, dairy, sugar puts the body in a less alkaline and more acid state, which is perfect for ailments such as cancer, diabetes, autoimmune diseases etc. Whereas with the continued barrage of CO2, chemicals, fertilizers etc into the environment and atmosphere, is making the oceans more acidic.

  8. Johno

    And don’t forget excess alcohol consumption on top of the crap diet.

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