How does the average American live

Comparison of the average life expectancy

Life expectancy for both men and women

A male child born in Germany today will live to be an average of 78.6 years. This puts the German men in 28th place in this ranking. On average, German women are even 4.8 years older, i.e. they reach an age of 83.4. Incidentally, the global average is considerably lower and is 70.6 years for men and 75.0 years for women. Within the European Union, it is 78.5 and 83.8 years, respectively.

Birth and death rates quantify the number of births or deaths per 1000 inhabitants within a year. The table shows the official information from 2019. Only in individual cases are no data for this year known, so the previously published data were used.

Development of life expectancy worldwide

Between 1960 and 2019, life expectancy increased noticeably around the world. From the beginning of 50.7 years, it rose by 19.8 years to 70.6 years for men. For women, the mean life expectancy has increased by 20.5 years from 54.6 to 75.0 years since 1960.

Division by region

What is the life expectancy?

Life expectancy indicates the expected age that is estimated for a person at the time of his or her birth. This number of years is mainly determined from the current death rates. However, since these data only take the past into account, estimates are also included that determine the future age based on external influences. These can be environmental factors as well as developments in health care. The average life expectancy is therefore not a measured value, but a prognosis for the future.

Life expectancy is primarily a result of the living conditions of a person or a population group. Essential factors are, for example, medical care, a constant and balanced diet and the drinking water supply. These factors are largely influenced by political factors, which is why the standard of living in a country is often derived from life expectancy.

The difference between men and women

In the vast majority of countries, women are 4-8 years older than men. In the opinion of many scientists, this is not a purely biological difference, but is attributed to the different behaviors. According to this view, men are less careful with their bodies than women. In fact, smokers and alcohol users are more common among men. Physical stress with simultaneous aversion to medical treatment and preventive health care are also responsible for this. However, there is also an additional genetic reason for longer life in women.

Influence of the child mortality rate

The death rate of children is also a major influence on life expectancy. Both in the Middle Ages and in today's developing countries, the death rate of children at birth or in the first few years of life is disproportionately high. These factors are already included in the average life expectancy. If you subtract the proportion of children who have already died after a few years, the "average" remains, but the life expectancy of the others increases significantly.

Long life expectancy despite high death rate

At first glance, it may be surprising that in many countries, including Germany, life expectancy is above average, although the death rate is also above average. The explanation for this lies mainly in the demographic development. If a large proportion of the population dies, this can be due to health reasons or because of a war. In most cases, however, people simply grow old and die naturally. In countries such as Germany, there is a high proportion of elderly residents. The population pyramid is upside down. Naturally, more people die because of their age than in other countries where there are not that many elderly people. As a consequence, this is often associated with low or even declining population growth.