Error on line 60 position 2: Syntax error
Error on line 60 position 2: Syntax error
Women pick tea leaves at the Moriuchi Tea Farm on May 1 in Shizuoka, Japan. Japanese women have the world's longest life expectancy, 87 years, according to a new report. / Chris McGrath, Getty Images

People around the world continue to live longer, and in some poor countries the gains have been dramatic, the World Health Organization says in an annual report released Thursday.

The average girl born in 2012 can expect to reach 73 and the average boy can expect to reach 68. That gives them an average of six years more than children born in 1990, WHO says.

The United States does better than average, with a female life expectancy of 81 and male life expectancy of 76 ?? but ranks 37th overall and does not make the top 10 for either gender. Top honors go to Japan for women (87 years) and Iceland for men (81.2 years).

The best-improved countries include several that have made double-digit gains since 1990. Those include Liberia, which saw a 20-year increase (from 42 to 62); Ethiopia (from 45 to 64), Maldives (58 to 77), Cambodia (54 to 72), Timor-Leste (also known as East Timor) (50 to 66) and Rwanda (48 to 65).

WHO says several factors are at work:

? In poor countries, fewer children are dying before age 5, thanks to advances against premature birth, birth complications and childhood infections.

? In rich countries, fewer people are dying of heart disease and stroke before reaching 60, thanks to blood pressure control and other preventive efforts.

? In many countries, declining tobacco use is extending lives.

The news is not all good. Life expectancy remains below 55 years in nine countries, all in sub-Saharan Africa: Angola, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d'Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Mozambique, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.

Also, the gap between rich and poor countries remains large: A boy born in a rich country can expect to live to 76, which is 16 years longer than a boy born in a poor country. For girls, the gap is 19 years: 82 vs. 63.

The top 10 countries for female life expectancy

1. Japan: 87.0 years

2. Spain: 85.1 years

3. Switzerland: 85.1 years

4. Singapore: 85.1 years

5. Italy: 85.0 years

6. France: 84.9 years

7. Australia: 84.6 years

8. Republic of Korea: 84.6 years

9. Luxembourg: 84.1 years

10. Portugal: 84.0 years

The top 10 countries for male life expectancy

1. Iceland: 81.2 years

2. Switzerland: 80.7 years

3. Australia: 80.5 years

4. Israel: 80.2 years

5. Singapore: 80.2 years

6. New Zealand: 80.2 years

7. Italy: 80.2 years

8. Japan: 80.0 years

9. Sweden: 80.0 years

10. Luxembourg: 79.7 years



Copyright 2014 USATODAY.com

Read the original story: Life expectancy up worldwide; Japanese women live longest

More In

test

Real Deals

Flip, shop and save on specials from your favorite retailers in central Ohio.

GET DEALS | COUPONS

Things To Do

FRI
22
SAT
23
SUN
24
MON
25
TUE
26
WED
27
THU
28

CLASSIFIEDS

Classifieds from across Central Ohio
Lancaster
Chillicothe
Newark
Marion
Bucyrus
Mansfield
Zanesville
Coshocton

Weeklies & Shoppers

10TV Headlines

Dispatch Headlines

METROMIX