• Spain edition
 
Spanish women second longest-living in world
Long life expectancy in Spain also places a burden on the country's social security system, especially given high rates of unemployment. Photo: Diego López Román

Spanish women second longest-living in world

Published: 15 May 2014 17:04 GMT+02:00
Updated: 15 May 2014 17:04 GMT+02:00

Spanish women lived to an average ripe old age of 85.1 years in 2012, behind only the Japanese who live an average 87 years, the Who data released on Thursday shows.

While Spanish women share second place with similary healthy Singaporean and Swiss women, the country's menfolk don't make it into global the top ten.

That group had an average life expectancy of 79 in 2012, a little way behind world leaders Iceland (81.2), Switzerland (80.7) and Australia (80.5).

SEE ALSO: What do Spanish people die of

The strong figures for Spain come in the context of greater average longevity worldwide, according to the Who's World Health Statistics 2014.

Global averages show a girl who was born in 2012 can expect to live to around 73 years, and a boy to the age of 68. This is six years longer than the average global life expectancy for a child born in 1990.

"An important reason why global life expectancy has improved so much is that fewer children are dying before their fifth birthday,” said Dr Margaret Chan, Who Director-General on the data.

But Chan also pointed out there was still a major rich-poor divide: men and women still live less than 55 years in nine sub-Saharan African countries – Angola, Central African Republic, Chad, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Lesotho, Mozambique, Nigeria and Sierra Leone.  

In high-income countries, on the other hand, much of the gain in life expectancy was due to success in tackling noncommunicable diseases, said Dr Ties Boerma, Director of the Department of Health Statistics and Information Systems at WHO.

"Fewer men and women are dying before they get to their 60th birthday from heart disease and stroke. Richer countries have become better at monitoring and managing high blood pressure for example," Boerma said.

But the relative longevity of Spanish women and men is not all positive.

Spain's population shrunk in 2013 for the second year in a row and population projections suggest deaths will outweigh births by 2017.

The country also has a total fertility rate of just 1.48 children per woman, with economic woes playing a role in keeping this figure down, while level necessary to keep population stable in 2.1 children per women. 

While high numbers of immigrants have kept Spain's population decline in check in recent years, the crisis has led to many of those people leaving.

In the medium to long term, the result could be a seriously aged population for the country.

Spain's low birthrate "puts the survival of the welfare state" at risk, said Salome Androher, the general director for family and childhood services at Spain's health ministry in 2013

Don't miss stories about Spain, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

The Local (news@thelocal.es)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
What's on in Spain: November 2014

What's on in Spain: November 2014

November in Spain is bursting at the seams for lovers of art, culture, food and sport. Find out what's on as The Local showcases the best the country has to offer in the month before Christmas. READ  

UN slams Spain over assault on migrant
A still image from the video in which Melilla Civil Guard officers are shown beating a migrant before carrying him to the other side of the fence. Screen grab: Prodein/AFP

UN slams Spain over assault on migrant

The United Nations has criticized Spain over a recent incident which saw a Cameroonian man dumped back inside Morocco after video footage showed him being assaulted by Spanish border police. READ  

Ebola outbreak
Spanish nurse may get Ebola all-clear Tuesday
Teresa Romero was recovering "very well" and and "surprises aside" would be able to live a normal life once given the all-clear, a spokesperson for her family said. File photo: Pedro Armestre/AFP

Spanish nurse may get Ebola all-clear Tuesday

Updated: Spanish nursing assistant Teresa Romero will be declared free of Ebola on Tuesday if further tests confirm Sunday's result which showed she no longer had the virus, health officials said on Monday. READ  

Football focus
Real Madrid star Bale in doubt for Barça clash
Welshman Gareth Bale could also miss the first Clásico against Barcelona on Saturday, Spanish press reported. File photo: Christof Stache/AFP

Real Madrid star Bale in doubt for Barça clash

Real Madrid look set to be without Gareth Bale for their Champions League trip to Liverpool on Wednesday after a scan revealed the Welshman has an abdominal injury. READ  

Crimewatch
Six police charged over drug addict's murder
According to the autopsy, the victim died due to a crushed spine and had flesh wounds caused near the time of death. File photo of a police car: Shutterstock

Six police charged over drug addict's murder

A judge believes six police officers from the Spanish city of Cartagena murdered a man who had called them for assistance, taking him to a remote cove and beating him before dumping his body in the sea. READ  

Spain's Ferrovial bids for Australian Transfield
Transfield have held open the door for further possible negotiations on a buyout by Spanish infrastructure giant Ferrovial. Photo: Pedro Armestre/AFP

Spain's Ferrovial bids for Australian Transfield

Spanish construction giant Ferrovial offered €687 million ($875 million) to buy Australian firm Transfield Services, which rejected the bid as poor value, the companies said on Monday. READ  

Spanish Face of the Week
Exposed: student conman who fooled king
Francisco Nicolás Gómez Iglesias was one of just 2,000 people at the proclamation party for Spain's new king Felipe (pictured) in June. File photo: Andrew Burton/Getty Images/AFP

Exposed: student conman who fooled king

A 20-year-old student from an elite business school who was arrested last week on suspicion of swindling, forging documents and impersonating public officials cozied up to the cream of Spanish society, even managing to attend King Felipe VI’s proclamation. READ  

Wild weather
Flash floods: woman dies in Canary Islands
The autumn storm saw businesses and garages flooded while landslides caused road closures. Screen grab: YouTube/Agustin Cabeza

Flash floods: woman dies in Canary Islands

Heavy rain caused chaos in the Canary Island city of Santa Cruz de Tenerife on Sunday with one woman dying after she found herself trapped underneath a parked car during flash flooding. READ  

'We will pay off debt': Spain’s 'indignant' party
Pablo Iglesias had previously talked of cancelling Spain's public debt, but is now talking about an "orderly restructuring" of Spain’s financial burden. File photo: Gerard Julien/AFP

'We will pay off debt': Spain’s 'indignant' party

Spain's left-wing Podemos grouping on Sunday backed away from previous hints it would refuse to pay off Spain's public debt, in a bid to win more voters to its cause. READ  

Credit card scandal
Bank chauffeurs had 'black' Visa cards: report
Photo of a chauffeur: Shutterstock

Bank chauffeurs had 'black' Visa cards: report

A dozen chauffeurs working for two major Spanish banks were issued company credit cards so that drivers could make luxury purchases on the behalf of top executives, a Spanish newspaper reported on Monday, part of a scandal which has rocked Spain. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Where's the best place to live in Spain?
Travel
Top ten: great autumn getaways in Spain
National
The great Spanish cities quiz: take it now
National
Revealed: the cost of expat food in Spain
Politics
Catalan leader calls independence vote 'lite'
What's On
Games of Thrones star 'barred' from Seville film set
Health
Spanish nurse contracts Ebola in Madrid
National
Madrid starts fining users of Uber 'taxi' app
Education
Only one Spanish university makes world's top 200
What's On
What's on in Spain: October 2014
Politics
Spanish court suspends Catalan independence vote
National
Catalonia defies Madrid and calls independence vote
National
Spanish village swaps bulls for giant balls
Society
Spain scraps plans for tough new abortion law
National
Spain's royal 'bad boy' to be sent to UK school
National
'This is a great time for entrepreneurs in Spain'
National
Loud porn movie scares locals into calling cops
National
'We'll axe Catalan autonomy but won't send in tanks'
National
Spain's Thatcher square defaced by 'Brits'
National
Top 10: best Spanish movies of all time
National
Gravedigger suspended for corpse photo gaffe
Society
Named: the best city to live in Spain
National
Catalonia's 'Diada': 5 things you need to know
Travel
Top ten amazing activities in Tenerife
National
Spain opens door to ban on burqas
Travel
Top ten: best bike rides in Spain
Travel
Spain to reopen 'world's most dangerous walk': The Camino del Rey
National
'Catalonia could be the shock Spain needs'
National
Office slang: Top ten Spanish expressions
Sport
Think you know Spanish football? Try these amazing facts
International
Australia set to welcome young Spanish workers
Opinion
Is tourism destroying Barcelona?
Society
Fashion fail: Zara pulls plug on 'Holocaust shirt' for kids
National
Man hurt as friend swaps ice bucket for plane
Spain 'would block independent Scotland from joining EU'
Politics
Spain 'would block independent Scotland from joining EU'
International
Spanish police mistake Morocco's king for people smuggler
What's On
What's on in Spain: September
Society
Miss Spain comes out of closet on Instagram
Travel
Top ten: Spain's best natural swimming pools
Property
'Dying' town flogs off land for €200 to woo new blood
National
Gays to blame for Spain's trillion euro debt: senator
Society
Spain's anti-rape guidelines: 1) Close your curtains
National
Woman on Madrid plane had 1.7kg coke in breasts
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

1,723
jobs available