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Thailand’s life expectancy at birth

compares well with life expectancy

as estimated for Germany except

that the mortality for males in

Thailand is higher than for males in

Germany.

Life expectency is a proxy

indicator for the wellbeing and the

general health status of the

population of a country. As a

positive development, the World Health Organization (WHO) recently stated that ‘five more

years (were) added to life expectancy between 2000 and 2015’ globall

y 10 .

Five high income

countries from Asia, Europe and

Australia were listed with a life

expectancy at birth of well over 80

years which sharply contrasted with

the situation of five countries in

Africa where on average a newborn

can expect to live only a few years

above 50. Since WHO wants to

encourage

increasing

life

expectancies in low and middle

income countries, then a decrease in

mortality shouldn’t be lamented when discussing the

world’s overpopulation. The claim that life expectancy

at birth saw an unprecedented increase over the period

1900 to 2010 from 30 years to almost 70 years should

be then considered an achievement (see graph

below

) 11 .

Development of life expectancy over time

From prehistoric times up to the 20

th

century

such extraordinary increases in life expectancy were

not recorded, but the paleolithic average life expectancy at birth is estimated to be 33 years.

Those surviving until the age of 15 might have lived up to 54 years. However, the odds of

reaching that age were very dim. Being born in ‘classical Rome’ on average one might have

reached the age of 20 to 30 years. A child surviving until 10 years of age might have had a

chance of getting to be 48 years old. Being born in late mediaeval England on average one

would reach the same age as those in Rome at the time of the Roman Empire and that was 30

years. However, if you were still alive at age 21 you might have had another 43 years to live

(i.e. up to the age of 64). An increase in life expectancy is achieved by mortality reduction. It

10 http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2016/health-inequalities-persist/en/

(accessed May 24,

2016)

11 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Life_expectancy

(accessed May 24, 2016)

79

83

69

73

23

25

0

50

100

Thailand

Germany

Life expectancy at birth for females (in years)

Healthy life expectancy for females (in years)

Life expectancy at age 60 for females (in years)

71

79

63

69

19

22

0

50

100

Thailand

Germany

Life expectancy at birth for males (in years)

Healthy life expectancy for males (in years)

Life expectancy at age 60 for males (in years)

31

48

67.2

0

20

40

60

80

1900 1950 2010