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  • Dramatic improvements in life expectancy have occurred over the past century.

  • Globally it has more than doubled and is expected to rise by another six years by 2050.

  • Wealthy countries have the highest life expectancies.

  • People in Japan can now expect to live beyond 84 years.

  • When records began, it had 153 centenarians.

  • In 2018, it had nearly 70,000.

  • The people of Okinawa live longer than anywhere else in the world.

  • Their secret to long life could in part be due to a low fat, low salt, mainly fish and vegetable diet.

  • The five countries that have the shortest life expectancy are all in Africa.

  • Lesotho is at the bottom of the ranking.

  • But life expectancy across Africa has actually risen substantially since 1925.

  • And it has experienced the biggest surge in recent years.

  • Improvements in child survival and progress in combating infectious diseases such as HIV have contributed to the increased average lifespan.

  • Across the world, the inequality gap in life expectancy between rich and poor countries is shrinking.

  • A century ago,

  • South Koreans' life expectancy was as low as 23 years.

  • But a study of the 35 richest countries predicts a girl born in South Korea in 2030 is likely to live past her 90th birthday.

  • South Korea's annual GDP per person is more than 20 times the level in 1960.

  • And these economic gains have improved the nation's health.

  • South Korea is predicted to leapfrog 18 other rich countries by 2030 to take Japan's top spot.

  • And as countries become richer, more people should have access to better health care, pushing global life expectancy higher still.

Dramatic improvements in life expectancy have occurred over the past century.

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