Japanese women fall behind Hong Kong in longevity

(AP) — Japanese women are no longer the world's longest living, their longevity pushed down in part by last year's devastating earthquake and tsunami, according to a government report Thursday. The top of the global life expectancy rankings now belongs to Hong Kong women.

The annual report by Japan's health ministry said the expected lifespan for Japanese women slipped to 85.90 years in 2011 from 86.30 the year before, mainly due to disease and other natural causes of death. The life expectancy for men also declined slightly, from 79.55 to 79.44.

The report said that the earthquake and tsunami, which killed nearly 20,000 people, contributed to pushing the down. It noted that if deaths related to the disaster were not included, the life expectancies would be higher for both men, at 79.70 years, and women, at 86.24.

But the official for women in Hong Kong — 86.70 years in 2011 — would still be longer than Japan's even without the disaster deaths, the report said.

It said suicides among Japanese women have been on the rise, and that was a contributing factor, although disease and other natural causes remained the most important issues.

Officials said it was the first time since 1985 that Japan's had ranked second.

The ministry's , which uses statistics supplied by other countries or the U.N. for its comparisons, noted that international statistics are hard to compare because of differences in calculation methods.

not rated yet
add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Japanese people living longer than ever: govt

Jul 26, 2010

Japanese people are living longer than ever, with the average life expectancy now a world-record 86.44 years for women and 79.59 years for men, the health and welfare ministry said Monday.

Men-women life expectancy gap narrows

May 01, 2006

Women may have longer life expectancy than men but that gap in the United States has now narrowed to five years, the shortest in 50 years.

Past smoking rates shorten US lifespans: study

Jan 25, 2011

High smoking rates in the past, combined with widespread obesity, continue to chip away at US life expectancy compared to other wealthy nations, a study released Tuesday said.

Recommended for you

Study reveals state of crisis in Canadian foster care system

1 hour ago

A new study of foster care in Canada led by a researcher at Western University reveals a shrinking number of foster care providers are available across the country to care for a growing number of children with increasingly ...

Researchers prove the benefits of persimmons for diet

2 hours ago

Alba Mir and Ana Domingo, researchers from the Department of Analytical Chemistry of the University of Valencia, under the supervision of professors Miguel de la Guardia and Maria Luisa Cervera, from the same department, ...

User comments