The average life expectancy in Taiwan was 76 years for 2003, ranking the nation 39th among the 208 countries around the world, the Directorate General of Budget, Accounting & Statistics reported yesterday.
The average life expectancy for men in Taiwan has risen by 1.7 years over the past 10 years, and for women, the average has increased by 1.5 years, the officials noted.
Life expectancy is an index reflecting a country's medical care and health standards, the officials said.
Quoting data from the US Bureau of Census as well as Taiwan's Department of Health, the officials said that the global average life expectancy was 67 as of last year, two years higher than that posted a decade earlier.
Life expectancy among people in Asia and Latin America, Oceania, and North America has risen by three years, two years and one year, respectively, over the past 10 years, the officials said.
By comparison, they said, life expectancy for people in Europe and Africa has decreased by one year and two years, respectively.
By gender, the global average life expectancy for women was 69 years in 2003 -- four years higher than that for men. North American women topped the list, with an average life expectancy of 80 years.
The African country of Mozambique posted the lowest life expectancy last year, at 34 years. Life expectancy in the southern African country of Botswana declined to 46 years last year from 49 years in 1980, mainly as a result of scourge of HIV/AIDS.
According to the World Health Organization, the global average life expectancy is expected to rise to 73 years by 2025, with the average life expectancy in almost all countries exceeding 50 years.