• 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
EU's new green energy man flogs his oil shares
The total value of Cañete's oil shares stands at €320,000, an asset declaration report he presented in the Spanish Parliament suggests. Photo: Miguel Riopa/AFP

EU's new green energy man flogs his oil shares

The EU's newly appointed Climate Action and Energy commissioner - Spain's controversial politician Miguel Arias Cañete - has decided to sell €320,000 ($414,000) worth in shares in two oil companies owned by his wife's family to avoid a 'conflict of interests'. READ  

Catalonia crisis
'We'll axe their autonomy but won't send in tanks'
Margallo also gave his opinion that a 'yes' vote in Thursday's Scottish independence referendum would lead to a "Balkanization" of Europe. Photo: ISHARA S.KODIKARA / AFP

'We'll axe their autonomy but won't send in tanks'

José Manuel García-Margallo, Spain's Foreign Minister, has said that his government would use "all means necessary" to stop the planned independence referendum in Catalonia, including stripping the region of its autonomous powers, but ruled out 'sending in the tanks' because it was 'not in the constitution'. READ  

VIDEO
Spanish bus driver busted texting at wheel
The driver reportedly ignored passenger complaints and only stopped texting when he saw that he was being filmed. Screen Grab: YouTube/El Periódico

Spanish bus driver busted texting at wheel

The driver of a shuttle bus service between Barcelona's airport and city centre is facing disciplinary action after a passenger videoed him sending WhatsApp messages on his mobile phone while steering through traffic. READ  

'Drunk' tamer ties bear to lamp post in hail storm
Village authorities had paid the man to make the bear walk with a music band and pretend to play the trumpet. Photo: FAADA

'Drunk' tamer ties bear to lamp post in hail storm

A Spanish animal rights group is suing a circus worker who left a bear tied to a lamp post in the middle of a hail storm while he went to a bar to have a drink. READ  

Madrid unveils Margaret Thatcher square
The square is in the wealthy Salamanca district and was previously un-named. Photo: GERRY PENNY / AFP / Google Street View

Madrid unveils Margaret Thatcher square

The Spanish capital became the first city in the world to name a square after Margaret Thatcher, the controversial former British Prime Minister whose political legacy still divides opinion. READ  

Business
Orange buys up Spanish rival for €3.4 billion
If the acquisition goes ahead, Orange expects synergies worth €1.3 billion from the deal. Photo: Eric Piermont/AFP

Orange buys up Spanish rival for €3.4 billion

French telecom giant Orange on Monday made a €3.4-billion offer ($4.4 billion) to acquire Spanish fixed-line operator Jazztel. READ  

Spain's prehistoric cave art open to lucky few
Experts weren't sure the paintings could withstand the breath and germs of visitors. Handout photo: Museo Arqueológico Nacional de España

Spain's prehistoric cave art open to lucky few

A cave in Spain containing some of the world's most precious prehistoric art will stay open for trial visits after decades closed for conservation reasons. READ  

Catalan leader's son denies graft allegations
Jordi Pujol Ferrusola is suspected of collecting millions of euros by winning bids on government contracts and hiding the money in foreign bank accounts. Photo: Dani Pozo/AFP

Catalan leader's son denies graft allegations

The son of a former president of Catalonia denied tax fraud and money-laundering allegations in court on Monday in a probe that has tarnished the region's campaign for independence from Spain. READ  

Dutchman in Spanish jail waits for DNA justice
The case has remained tied up in legal red tape despite DNA evidence linking a convicted British killer and rapist to the crime. Photo: Wikipedia Commons/Maggie Bartlett, NHGRI

Dutchman in Spanish jail waits for DNA justice

A Dutchman convicted of sexually assaulting three women in Spain has been in prison for the last 11 years despite DNA results 7 years ago suggesting he wasn't the culprit. READ  

Catalonia crisis
'What weapon to punish separatist Catalan boss?'
The tweet, which has since been deleted, shows a photo of the Catalan leader surrounded by different weapons, including a handgun, a grenade, a broken glass bottle and a grenade. Photo: Twitter/PP Mas

'What weapon to punish separatist Catalan boss?'

Popular Party representatives in a village in Catalonia sent out a photo tweet on Saturday suggesting various weapons which could be used against the region’s president Artur Mas if he continues to push for a referendum on independence. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Gravedigger suspended for corpse photo gaffe
Society
Named: the best city to live in Spain
Marks & Spencer
Sponsored Article
Fashion Ladies of the Local: Win a New Autumn Look
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

1,648
jobs available