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Life Expectancy of Babies Born Last Year Reaches 80

Posted December. 10, 2008 05:28,   


Korean babies born last year are expected to live until age 80, and at age 45, a Korean man can expect to live an additional 33 years and a Korean woman 39 years more, a report released yesterday by the Korea National Statistical Office said.

The report studied the life expectancy of babies born last year and those of men and women, along with the probability of death by specific causes.

The life expectancy of children born last year was 79.6, up from 79.2 in 2006 and 5.2 years higher than a decade ago.

A Korean woman’s life expectancy was 82.7 years, 6.6 years higher than a Korean man’s (76.1 years). The life expectancy of a Korean man is on par with the average of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, while that of a Korean woman is 0.9 year more.

“The increased life expectancy is attributed to improved health and welfare conditions over the last decade. A fall in the number of elderly deaths (those over age 65) was also a factor,” said a statistical official.

“Growing health awareness by men age 30 to 64, which has led to a decline in death rates caused by adult diseases such as hypertension, also raised life expectancy.”

When a Korean man reaches age 40, however, his life expectancy will trail that of a Korean woman. A 40-year-old man is expected to live 37.6 more years while a woman of the same age has 43.8 more years. At age 45, a Korean man will live 33 more years and a Korean woman 39 more.

At age 65, a Korean man is expected to live 16.3 more years and a Korean woman 20.5 more years.

Baby boys born last year have a 28.1-percent chance of dying of cancer while the rate for baby girls is 15.9 percent. The figures are up 2.5 percentage points each from a year ago.

Korean women are more likely to die of circulatory system disorders than men, however. Korean women have a 28.9 percent chance of dying of cerebrovascular or cardiac disease and hypertension, while the rate for men is 22.9 percent. In addition, 9.3 percent of men are likely to die in car accidents and suicide, while the corresponding figure for women is six percent.

The report also found that men have a 48.4 percent chance of dying of cancer, cerebrovascular disease or cardiac illness, the three leading causes of death in Korea, while women have a 40.2 percent chance. “If people are free of those diseases, men will live 8.9 years longer and women 6.4 years,” the official said.