Life expectancy of S. Koreans edges up to 82.1 years in 2015

Michelle Cho, Dec. 2, 2016, 9:38 a.m.


South Korean babies born in 2015 are expected to live more than 82 years as the risk of death has been diminished by medical advances and other efforts, a government report showed Friday.

The life expectancy at birth averaged 82.1 years in 2015, slightly up from the previous year's 81.8 years, according to the report by Statistics Korea.

Baby boys and girls were expected to live 79 years and 85.2 years, respectively, last year, with the male-female difference dropping 0.2 year to 6.2 years.

The gender gap in life expectancy has been on a steady decline since 1985, when it peaked at 8.6 years.

The statistics report also showed that a 40-year-old man in 2015 will be alive for the next 40.1 years, while a 40-year-old woman will live until 96 years old. For those aged 60, men have 22.2 remaining years and 27 years for women.

A baby boy born last year has a 56.5 percent chance of reaching 80, while the chances of a baby girl becoming an octogenarian stood at 77.7 percent. Corresponding numbers for a boy reaching 100 stood at 1 percent and 3.6 percent for a girl.

The chances that a person could die of cancer in the future stood at 27.3 percent for male babies and 16.1 percent for female babies, while the death rate from heart problems stood at 9.7 percent for men and 12.6 percent for women.

If the death risk from cancer is excluded, the life expectancies for male and female babies would increase by 5.1 years and 2.9 years, respectively, the report said.

In comparison with 35 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, South Korea's life expectancies for male and female babies are 1.1 years and 1.9 years longer than the OECD average, respectively.

The country's life expectancy for men ranked 18th, while that for women stood at seventh. Iceland had the longest male life expectancy of 81.3 years and Japanese for women at 86.8 years. (Yonhap)

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