There's good news for South Koreans. Image: REUTERS/Vasily Fedosenko
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- By 2030, South Koreans will live the longest of any rich nation.
- Americans, however, will trail significantly.
- Factors such as diet, healthcare access and lifestyle choices all play a part in determining life expectancy.
Life expectancy is set to rise in many industrialized countries over the coming years. A study by the by the Imperial College London and the World Health Organization has revealed that South Korean women are going to be the first to see their average life expectancy surpass 90, a milestone experts long considered impossible. The scientists behind the study calculated that a South Korean baby girl born in 2030 will be expected to live for 90.8 years. Men born in that year will have a lifespan averaging 84.1 years.
Japan currently has the highest life expectancy rates for women but it will be overtaken by both South Korea and France by 2030. By then, the United States will fall behind many rich nations in life expectancy with men and women set to live for an average of 79.5 and 83.3 years respectively. Reasons for Americans falling behind include their country's lack of universal health insurance, a high rate of child mortality and soaring obesity levels. By contract, South Korea has some of the lowest rates of obesity in the world, as well as good nutrition, fewer smokers and excellent healthcare access.
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The views expressed in this article are those of the author alone and not the World Economic Forum.
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