Tokyo, July 30 (Jiji Press)–The average life expectancy of Japanese men and women rewrote their respective record highs in 2020, a health ministry survey showed Friday.
Japanese men’s average life expectancy rose by 0.22 year from the previous year to 81.64 years, marking a record high for the ninth consecutive year, while the life expectancy of Japanese women increased by 0.30 year to 87.74 years, posting a record for the eighth straight year.
According to the ministry, the spread of the novel coronavirus is believed to have pushed down the life expectancy of Japanese men and women by 0.03 year and 0.02 year, respectively.
“We have heard that some countries have seen their average life expectancy drop, but we have seen a comparatively small impact,” a ministry official said.
Japanese women posted the highest
life expectancy in the world, while Japanese men were in second place after Switzerland.
The latest survey did not include Hong Kong, which if included would have put Japanese women and men in the same ranks as the previous year, at second and third, respectively.
Average life expectancy is the number of years a baby born in a given year can expect to live, assuming that the death rate for each year group stays unchanged.
In Japan, the proportion of people born in 2020 who are expected to reach 75 stood at 76.1 pct for men and 88.4 pct for women. The share expected to reach 90 was 28.4 pct for men and 52.5 pct for women. The ministry also said that 11.1 pct of men and 28.3 pct of women are expected to reach 95. All of the figures were record highs.
Analysis of what could cause newborns in 2020 to die in the future put cancer at the top of the list for both sexes, at 28.24 pct for men and 20.14 pct for women. In a scenario assuming that no one dies from cancer, the average life span could be extended by 3.57 years for men and 2.87 years for women, the ministry said.