Countries with the highest life expectancy 2018

As of 2018, the countries with the highest life expectancy included Japan, Switzerland, Spain, and Singapore. In Japan, a person could expect to live up to around 84 years. In general, the life expectancy for females is greater than that of males, with lifestyle choices and genetics the two major determining factors of life expectancy.

Life expectancy worldwide

The overall life expectancy worldwide has increased since the development of modern medicine and technology. In 2007, the global life expectancy was 69.8 years. Ten years later it had increased to 72.2 years. However, not every country has seen a substantial increase in life expectancy. In Sierra Leone, for example, the life expectancy is only 54 years, almost 20 years shorter than the global average. In addition to Sierra Leone, the countries with the shortest life expectancy include the Central African Republic, Lesotho, Chad, and Nigeria.

Life expectancy in the U.S.

In the United States, life expectancy at birth is currently 78.54 years. Life expectancy in the U.S. generally increases every year however, since 2015, this number has seen a surprising decrease. One of the major contributing factors to this drop in life expectancy is the opioid epidemic, which claimed around 47,600 lives in 2017 alone.

Ranking of the 20 countries with the highest life expectancy as of 2018

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Release date

June 2020



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

Release date represents the date figures were accessed.

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