I was thinking today about how America generally views itself as the greatest place on the planet in pretty much every way possible. While a certain sense of nationalism is normal, I get this feeling that more people in America are extremely proud to be called an American.

Somehow this lead me to thinking about health and how I’ve heard that America has the poorest health of any developed country. A quick search lead me to this extremely interesting page on life expectancy based around 2000 census and world population information.

Interesting facts:


  • Andorra has, by far, the longest life expectancy on the planet, at 83.46 years (combined male and female).
  • Japan, for all the stress people associate with their lifestyle, is fouth at 80.7 years. This is probably due to their very healthy diet (which, admittedly, is declining with the increase in western-style fast food consumption).
  • The United States is ranked 42nd with an average life span of 77.12 years.
  • Dead-last (no pun intended) at 226th, and depressingly so, is Zambia, with an average life expectancy of 37.24 years. WOW.

I’d love to see the difference in diet and health care between those four countries.

Another interesting fact from the same site: over half the people in Uganda are under 15 years old. As a comparison, in the United States the figure is 21%.

I definitely recommend People Facts and Figures. Great browsing here.