Thu, Sep 12, 2019 - Page 2 News List

Average life expectancy rises to new highs: ministry

By Jake Chung  /  Staff writer, with CNA

Average life expectancy in Taiwan last year rose to historic highs of 84 years for women and 77.5 years for men, the Ministry of the Interior said yesterday.

The national average of 80.7 years, up from 78.6 years in 2008, was also higher than the global average, a 2018 life expectancy chart released by the ministry showed.

The ministry attributed the increased life expectancy to improved medical care, as well as a greater emphasis on food safety, better living quality and growing numbers of people exercising regularly.

While the national life expectancy was higher than the global average, it still lagged behind that of Japan, Switzerland, Spain and Singapore, the ministry said.

In term of deaths, the nation’s standardized mortality ratio is on the decline, the ministry said.

The standardized death rate last year stood at 4,115 per 100,000 people, down 2.2 percent from 2017, it said.

The nation registered 172,700 deaths, 672 more than in 2017, the ministry said.

The nation’s crude death rate —the total number of deaths per year per 1,000 people — stood at 0.00732, rising by 0.02 percentage points compared with 2017.

Taipei had the highest average life expectancy among the six special municipalities at 83.6 years, followed in descending order by New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung.

Taipei also led in average life expectancy of both sexes, displaying an evident trend of northern Taiwan having a higher life expectancy in the nation and life expectancy rates dropping from north to south.

In other cities and counties, Hsinchu led with an average life expectancy of 81.1 years, while Taitung County came in last at 75.8 years, the ministry said.

The average life expectancy of cities and counties in eastern Taiwan was comparatively lower than that in the west by at least five years, due primarily to a lack of transportation and medical resources, the ministry said.

Difference in culture and lifestyle could be contributing factors, but the gap between the two is closing compared with a decade ago, it said.

The chart not only gives the government a more accurate gauge of life expectancy in the nation, but also an insight into average health status, the economy, social welfare and the nation’s competitiveness, the ministry said.

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