Given its nickname of the “Billionaire’s Playground,” chances are you’re aware of the lavish luxury Monaco has to offer.
But did you know that the principality, which is so wealthy it can’t be bothered to keep up with the poverty rate, also has the highest life expectancy in the world?
Babies born today in the 40,000-population country wedged on France’s southern coast have a life expectancy of 85.9 years, data suggests.
The Republic of Chad, on the other hand, a country at the crossroads of North and Central Africa, is at the bottom of the world ranking.
The 10 countries with the SHORTEST life expectancy
- Chad – 52.5 years
- Nigeria – 52.7 years
- Lesotho – 53.1 years
- Central African Republic – 53.9
- South Sudan – 55 years
- Somalia – 55.3 years
- Eswatini – 57.1 years
- Ivory Coast – 58.6 years
- Guinea – 58.9 years
- Mali – 58.9 years
The 10 countries with the LONGEST life expectancy
- Monaco – 85.9 years
- Hong Kong – 85.5 years
- Macau – 85.4 years
- Japan – 84.8 years
- Australia – 84.5 years
- Switzerland – 84 years
- Malta – 83.8 years
- South Korea – 83.7 years
- Liechtenstein – 83.3 years
- Norway – 83.2 years
The African country, one of the poorest countries in the world, has a life expectancy of only 52.5 years.
In fact, all 10 countries with the shortest life expectancy are in Africa, followed by Chad, Nigeria, Lesotho, Central African Republic, South Sudan, Somalia, Eswatini, Ivory Coast, Guinea and Mali. None are over 60.
An interactive map published by Our World in Data – which users of the UKTN app can view by clicking here – illustrates the huge gap in life expectancy worldwide.
It uses the most up-to-date figures from the United Nations Population Division, which tracks how countries develop.
After Monaco, the countries with the longest life expectancy at birth are Hong Kong (85.5), Macau (85.4), Japan (84.8) and Australia (84.5).
Rounding out the top 10 are Switzerland (84), Malta (83.8), South Korea (83.7), Liechtenstein (83.3) and Norway (83.2).
According to the ranking, neither the UK nor the US made the top 30.
The UK has a life expectancy of 80.7 years, ranking 34th.
And the US is much lower at 69th place, with a life expectancy of just 77.2 years.
Thanks to medical advances, life expectancy has increased dramatically around the world in recent decades.
But Monaco (pictured), a country so rich it can’t keep up with poverty rates, also has the longest life expectancy
In contrast, the Republic of Chad (pictured), a country at the crossroads of North and Central Africa, has the shortest life expectancy
This includes the introduction of vaccinations, antibiotics and increased decontamination – which have wiped out many causes of early death.
In 1950, the average person expected to live to be 46.5 years old, but by 2021 this had risen to 71 years.
Health inequality has also improved somewhat, as in 1950 the Republic of Mali in West Africa had a life expectancy of only 28.2 years, while Norway’s was 71.2 years – a difference of 43 years.
But in 2021, the gap between best and worst was 33.4 years.
Another map, showing the change in life expectancy between 1800, 1950 and 2015, illustrates the drastic global gap.
At the beginning of the 19th century, all countries are red, meaning that none had a life expectancy of more than 40 years.
Another map, showing the change in life expectancy between 1800, 1950 and 2015, illustrates the drastic global gap
In 1950, some North American and most European countries were green, meaning they had life expectancies over 60, while countries in Africa and South Asia were still red.
In 2015, life expectancy had increased worldwide, but huge inequalities persisted.
Canada and many Central and Northern European countries had passed the life expectancy of 80 years, while many African countries were still in their 50s.
Life expectancy growth rates have slowed in recent years in high-income countries, which experts say is linked to people approaching the maximum age of human existence and cardiovascular disease remaining a leading cause of death.
And since Covid, both the countries at the top and bottom of the list have seen their life expectancies drop, due to an “unprecedented rise in mortality,” according to a study by researchers at the University of Oxford and the Max Planck Institute.
Monaco has dropped from 86.5 years in 2019 to 85.9 in 2021.
And that of Mali fell from 53.3 years to 52.5 years in the same period.
How to age healthily
Watch your eyes
The eyes can be affected by age-related conditions.
Regular eye tests can detect these early, while not smoking, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables and wearing sunglasses can protect them.
Boost health by eating a balanced diet low in saturated fat and packed with fruits, vegetables and whole grains.
Limit alcohol to no more than 14 units — six pints of beer or 10 small glasses of wine — per week and keep alcohol-free for at least two days.
Regular exercise can reduce the impact of diseases such as osteoporosis, diabetes and high blood pressure.
Minimize time spent sitting for extended periods by walking regularly.