China’s life expectancy now stands at 77.93 years, health indicators doing well

Updated on Jul 05, 2022 02:32 PM IST

The plan is to lift average life expectancy by another year to 78.93 in 2025, and to lower the mortality rate for infants and pregnant women. The plan also set the goal of increasing average life expectancy to 80 by 2035

Children play with bubbles at a park during Dragon Boat festival holiday in Beijing, China on June 4, 2022. (REUTERS)
Children play with bubbles at a park during Dragon Boat festival holiday in Beijing, China on June 4, 2022. (REUTERS)
BySutirtho Patranobis I Edited by Amit Chanda

BEIJING: The life expectancy of Chinese citizens now stands at 77.93 years and is within the category of upper-middle-income countries, the national health commission (NHC), said on Tuesday.

“At present, China’s per capita life expectancy has increased to 77.93 years, with the main health indicators ranking among the top of middle and high-income countries,” Mao Qunan, director of NHC’s planning department said on Tuesday.

The life expectancy of Chinese citizens had risen to 77.3 years in 2019, compared with 35 years in 1949, the beginning of the Communist Party of China’s (CPC) rule, according to a white paper released last year.

Since 2013, Hong Kong, a special administrative region (SAR) of China, has maintained the world’s highest life expectancy at birth, which, according to the medical journal, Lancet, is a key indicator of population health.

The average life expectancy is more than 85 years average for both sexes in Hong Kong.

Japan and Macau, also China’s SAR, are next on the list of the top life expectancies in the world.

According to World Bank data, India’s life expectancy stood at 70 in 2020.

According to NHC’s Ma, the level of health literacy of the Chinese citizens - the ability to obtain, process and follow health-related information - has risen to 25.4%, and the proportion of people who regularly participate in physical exercise reached 37.2%.

The official added that China has also strengthened its defences against major diseases, and premature mortality for “major chronic diseases is lower than the global average”.

In May, China had unveiled its first five-year blueprint to improve the health of its residents through 2025, and according to state-run China Daily had pledged “…to lift the average life expectancy by another year and make the public health network better able to respond to major outbreaks and other public health emergencies”.

“The plan is to lift average life expectancy by another year to 78.93 in 2025, and to lower the mortality rate for infants and pregnant women. The plan also set the goal of increasing average life expectancy to 80 by 2035,” the newspaper said.

The blueprint focusses on the popularisation of health-related knowledge, reasonable diet, national fitness, tobacco control and alcohol restriction, mental health, and promotion of a healthy environment

The medical journal Lancet published a research paper on Hong Kong’s high life expectancy in 2021.

“Hong Kong’s leading longevity is the result of fewer diseases of poverty while suppressing the diseases of affluence. A unique combination of economic prosperity and low levels of smoking with development contributed to this achievement. As such, it offers a framework that could be replicated through deliberate policies in developing and developed populations globally,” the Lancet paper said.

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