Spains population is projected to have the worlds longest life expectancy by the year 2040 according to a recent report from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME).
Life expectancy for all nations is expected to increase by 2040 claim the researchers, however the rankings are expected to shift dramatically. Largely thanks to their healthy Mediterranean diet, the life expectancy of the people in Spain is predicted to reach an average 85.8 years, which would relegate Japan from the top spot into second place with 85.7 years.
Two further countries are projected to have an average lifespan exceeding 85 years for both sexes: Singapore (rising from 83.3 years in 2016 to 85.4 in 2040) and Switzerland (from 83.3 years to 85.2).
If recent health trends continue, the two largest economies on the planet are expected to effectively trade places. The United States is predicted to drop from 43rd to 64th with an average lifespan of 79.8 years, whilst China is projected to climb from 68th position to 39th with an average 81.9 years.
Other nationalities expected to drop down the life expectancy rankings include Canadians who will fall from 17th in 2016 to 27th in 2040, Norwegians (from 12th to 20th), Australians (from 5th to 10th), Mexicans (69th to 87th), Taiwanese (35th to 42nd) and North Koreans (125th to 153rd).
Headed in the opposite direction, those rising up the rankings include Indonesians who will climb from 117th in 2016 to 100th in 2040, Nigerians (up from 157th to 123rd), Portuguese (from 23rd to 5th), Polish (48th to 34th), Turkish (40th to 26th) and Saudi Arabians (61st to 43rd). The UK is likely to rise up the league table from 26th place to 23rd, with life expectancy increasing from 80.8 years in 2016 to 83.3 years in 2040.
The report predicts a five year gain in the average life expectancy for the whole world from 73.8 years in 2016 to 77.7 in 2040.
High blood pressure, high blood sugar and being overweight along with smoking and alcohol – the so called lifestyle diseases – are considered the top five deciders to determine average life expectancies over the next twenty years, closely followed by air pollution which, in China alone, is estimated to be responsible for a million lives per year.
Inequalities will continue with the worlds poorest countries in 2018 expected to perform poorly over the next two decades in terms of life expectancy. Aside from Afghanistan, in 2040 it is expected that the bottom 30 ranked nations will all be either in sub Saharan Africa or Pacific island states with life expectancy between 57 to 69 years.
“In a substantial number of countries, too many people will continue earning relatively low incomes, remain poorly educated, and die prematurely” stated IHME Director Christopher Murray, who then went on to say “But nations could make faster progress by helping people tackle the major risks, especially smoking and poor diet.”