World Facts

Life Expectancy in Asia

Japan has the highest average life expectancy in Asia, as well as the world.

The life expectancy of a population largely depends on the income and standard of living within a country. Access to adequate health facilities also plays an important role in increasing the life expectancy of a nation’s population. In Asia, there is a considerable disparity between the average life expectancies of the developed and developing economies across the continent. Japan has the highest life expectancy in Asia at 84.2 years. Afghanistan has the lowest life expectancy at 62.7 years. 

Highest Life Expectancies 

1. Japan

For over two decades, Japan has led the world in life expectancy. The average life expectancy of the Japanese population is 84.2 years. Japanese women live the longest, with an average life expectancy of 87.1 years. They live longer than their male counterparts, who have an average life expectancy of 81.1 years, and rank as the sixth longest-living male population in the world. It is a matter of debate as to what factors are responsible for the longevity of the Japanese people. The interplay of genetic and environmental factors could be crucial to the heightened survival of these people. The nation's high standard of living, the advanced healthcare facilities, and access to proper nutrition are all considered to contribute to the high life expectancy of the Japanese population.

2. Singapore

With an average life expectancy of 82.9 years, Singapore ranks third in terms of countries with the world's highest life expectancies. The average life expectancy of Singaporean women is 85 years (the second highest globally), and the figure for men is 80 years. A World Health Organization (WHO) report claims Singapore spends the second highest in the world on health and medical science-related research, after South Korea. The nation's highly efficient road transport system ranks third globally in terms of the lowest mortality rate related to automobile accidents. The mortality rates in Singapore related to air pollution and cardiovascular diseases are also among the lowest in the world.

3. South Korea

South Korea has the third highest life expectancy in Asia. Research studies claim that South Korean women will have the highest life expectancy by 2030. It is believed that improvements in the standard of living in South Korea have benefitted the health status of the population. Better healthcare facilities and child nutrition have increased the longevity, and most citizens have access to adequate healthcare systems. Cancer treatments in the country have yielded extremely favorable results, and South Korea has one of the best cancer survival rates among members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). South Korea also has 9.56 beds per 1,000 of the population, which is the second highest of OECD nations.

Lowest Life Expectancies 

1. Afghanistan 

At only 62.7 years, Afghanistan has the lowest life expectancy in Asia and one of the lowest life expectancies in the world. Although this remains the lowest on the continent, the country's life expectancy has actually increased quite a bit in recent years. This increase has come thanks to improved treatment of pregnant women in hospitals and improvement in healthcare as a whole. 

2. Syria 

Syria has one of the lowest life expectancies in the world, at 63.8 years. Unfortunately, in this war-torn country, war is the leading cause of death. Prior to the Civil War in Syria, the life expectancy was at least 6 years higher. 

3. Yemen 

Another war-torn country on our list, Yemen has a life expectancy of 65.3. Although the Civil War is a large contributing factor to the low death rate in Yemen, a high mortality rate also plays a role. 

Which Country Has the Highest Life Expectancy in Asia?

Japan has the highest life expectancy in Asia at 84.2 years.

Life Expectancies in Asian Countries

RankCountryLife Expectancy
3South Korea82.7
9United Arab Emirates77.2
11Brunei Darussalam76.4
15Viet Nam76.3
16Iran (Islamic Republic of)75.7
19Sri Lanka75.3
22North Korea74.8
23Saudi Arabia74.8
40East Timor68.6
44Lao People's Democratic Republic65.8
46Syrian Arab Republic63.8

About the Author

Oishimaya is an Indian native, currently residing in Kolkata. She has earned her Ph.D. degree and is presently engaged in full-time freelance writing and editing. She is an avid reader and travel enthusiast and is sensitively aware of her surroundings, both locally and globally. She loves mingling with people of eclectic cultures and also participates in activities concerning wildlife conservation.


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