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Life expectancy in Africa 2020

This statistic shows the average life expectancy in Africa for those born in 2020, by gender and region. The average life expectancy across the whole continent was 62 years for males and 65 years for females. The average life expectancy globally was 70 years for males and 75 years for females in mid-2020.

Additional information on life expectancy in Africa

With the exception of North Africa where life expectancy is around the worldwide average for men and women, life expectancy across all African regions paints a bleak picture. Comparison of life expectancy by continent shows the gap in average life expectancy between Africa and other continent regions. Africa trails Asia, the continent with the second lowest average life expectancy, by nearly 10 years for both males and females.

Moreover, countries from across the African regions dominate the list of countries with the lowest life expectancy worldwide. The Central African Republic had the lowest life expectancy of any country for those born in 2020. However there is reason for hope despite the low life expectancy rates in many African countries. Africa’s Human Development index rating has increased dramatically from 0.375 to 0.498 between 1980 and 2011, demonstrating an improvement in quality of life and as a result greater access to vital services that allow people to live longer lives. One such improvement has been successful efforts to reduce the rate of aids infection and research into combating its effects. The number of new HIV infections across Africa has decreased from around 1.3 million in 2015 to 970,000 in 2019.

Average life expectancy in Africa for those born in 2020, by gender and region

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Release date

July 2020



Survey time period


Supplementary notes

Average life expectancy of a newborn according to the current mortality rate.

According to the source the data from the above statistic originates from official statistical yearbooks and bulletins of the particular country. Moreover, publications of the United Nations, the Department of Economic and Social Affairs (Population Division) of the UN and the U.S. Census Bureau serve as data sources. Further sources are recent demographic studies, special studies and direct interviews with demographers and inquiries at statistical offices of the U.S. and other countries.

Data for males can be found here.

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