When observing the lifespans of groups of people by country, the statistics can get quite cumbersome. But this study mostly observed socioeconomic factors and diet, the other big factor in lifespan, be it long or short, appears to be the access to good quality medical care and medicine.
When listing some of the shortest-lived people on our planet, it is important to note that the data was gathered by the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) which deciphers similarities in the countries with the shortest life expectancy.
Here are the 10 countries with the shortest life expectancy, according to the CIA’s 2013 estimates:
The list is by country, and the number age to which the majority are expected to reach:
Chad – 49.07
South Africa – 49.48
Guinea-Bissau – 49.5
Swaziland – 50.01
Afghanistan – 50.11
Central Africa Republic – 50.9
Somalia – 51.19
Zambia – 51.51
Namibia – 52.03
Gabon – 52.15
What is most shocking is that every country listed above, except Afghanistan is in Africa.
It is startling when you look at the American life expectancy – it is 78.64 years. If you are lucky enough to be born in America and not Africa, you can expect to live up to 30 years longer.
Thinking about Africa where disease is rampant, it stands to reason why they were the majority on the list, many people have no physician nearby, nor do they have access to medicines or vaccines that treat and prevent diseases such as malaria, cholera, typhoid fever and other such devastating and life robbing diseases.
Part of the reason these diseases are so prevalent is the lack of access to clean running water, healthy food and water toilets. Insects cause most of these maladies and they are living in some of the worst hygiene conditions in the world.
Another contributing factor is poverty. World poverty rates in Africa are significantly higher than anywhere else in the world. They are also some of the most malnourished.
Added to that is the political and military instability in these countries. Civil conflicts and unstable leadership have led to constant fighting in many African countries, lives are taken much too early due to gunfire and other violent acts.
If you’re living in the United States of America, you should be happy you were born here.
Image via Wikimedia Commons