• Spain's news in English
 

Spanish women second longest-living in world

Published: 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
Catalonia prepares ahead of independence vote
Photo: AFP

Catalonia prepares ahead of independence vote

The wealthy Catalonia region is strengthening its tax office and expanding its network of foreign missions in defiance of the central government, as it prepares for possible secession from Spain. READ  

Spain's anti-austerity party opens books
Photo: Javier Soriano/AFP

Spain's anti-austerity party opens books

Podemos, the new anti-austerity party that is leading Spanish opinion polls, published its accounts Friday in a fresh bid to show that it is not financed by foreign governments. READ  

Prime time TV brought forward - to 10.15pm

Prime time TV brought forward - to 10.15pm

Spanish national broadcaster, RTVE, has announced it is bringing forward its prime time slot to 10.15pm, allowing Spaniards to get to bed earlier. READ  

Podemos gives up EU seats to run at home
Pablo Iglesias at a rally in Madrid on Wednesday. Photo: Javier Soriano/AFP

Podemos gives up EU seats to run at home

Podemos, the new anti-establishment party in Spain, has said it will replace its European members of parliament so that its leaders can run in elections at home. READ  

What's on in Spain: March 2015
"The most dangerous walkway in the world" reopens in March. Photo: caminitodelrey.info

What's on in Spain: March 2015

Whether it is a trip to see the tongue-in-cheek send up of politicans at Las Fallas before a spectacular flaming finale in Valencia or braving the dizzying heights to walk the renovated Caminito del Rey, there is plenty going on across Spain in the run up to Easter. READ  

The strange consular requests of Brits abroad

The strange consular requests of Brits abroad

The British Foreign office has released a list of the strangest requests it receives from Brits abroad, from a chef to make the perfect haggis to advice on how to treat a cat’s infected paw. READ  

Ukraine crisis
Spaniards arrested for fighting for Russia
Pro-Russian separatists ride tanks in the eastern Ukrainian city of Lugansk on February 21, 2015. Photo: Vasily Maximov/AFP

Spaniards arrested for fighting for Russia

Police on Friday arrested eight Spaniards who were "inspired by the International Brigades" and had returned from fighting alongside pro-Russian forces in eastern Ukraine, sources close to the investigation said. READ  

Priests defend secrecy in sex abuse confessions
Photo of a priest: Shutterstock

Priests defend secrecy in sex abuse confessions

Spain's bishops conference on Thursday defended the right of priests to maintain the secrecy of the confessional booth even in cases of serious crimes such as the sexual abuse of children. READ  

Spain blasts ex-PM meeting with Castro
Former Spanish Prime Minsiter Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero attends a press conference at the National Hotel in Havana, Cuba. Photo: Yamil Lage/AFP

Spain blasts ex-PM meeting with Castro

Spain's conservative government reacted angrily on Thursday to a visit by former Socialist Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero to Cuba and his meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro, calling it disloyal. READ  

The rain in Spain falls mainly...everywhere
Flooding in Villarcayo, Burgos. Photo: Protección Civil Municipal Burgos (@pcivilburgos)

The rain in Spain falls mainly...everywhere

Much of Spain was on high alert on Thursday as parts of the country were battered by high winds, heavy rains and rising rivers. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
National
Brooms up! Quidditch casts its spell over Spain
Society
Ten phrases you'll only hear at work in Spain
International
Spanish crowned world's happiest language
National
Eight cool things the crisis did for Spain
National
There is joy in learning something new yourself'
Travel
Top Ten: Spain's best beaches for 2015
National
Euro property bargains up for grabs in Spain
What's On
Spain's craziest carnivals
National
Spanish town fights 'Fifty Shades' bondage hotel
Sponsored Article
Tourist or lifer: what sort of expat are you?
International
Vinnie Jones teaches Spanish in hilarious ad
What's On
Ten golden rules for snagging a Spanish man
Sponsored Article
Are you an American expat? How to face FATCA
National
Are these Spain's most romantic couples ever?
Property
House sales up for first year since crisis began
Gallery
The highs and lows of the Spanish property market
International
What's keeping UK expats from voting?
National
The five strangest things about Spaniards
Society
Bizarre Spanish fashions you shouldn't try at home
What's On
Top Spanish director to open Berlin Film Festival
National
Young and old, rich and poor join left-wing march
What's On
What's on in Spain: February 2015
International
Spain planned to invade Australia in 1790s
National
Spanish jobseekers fail exam with answers
National
Moving to Spain: a guide for beginners
National
Spain's new penal code: key talking points
International
Spain among Europe's cheapest nations: study
Features
Top ten surprising Spanish inventions
National
Court to study paternity suit against ex-king
National
Europe in statistics - from Spain to Sweden
National
Top ten: must-know Spanish superstitions
International
'Change Schengen rules to catch Islamists': Spain
What's On
Ten ways to spice up your Spanish life in 2015
Health
Spain tops world organ donation rankings
National
5 things no one tells you about renting in Spain
National
'No Pants Subway Ride' hits Madrid Metro
National
Spain's satirical mags back Charlie Hebdo
National
Finally: a Spanish PM bothers to visit Andorra
National
Woman fined for being kissed while driving
Travel
Top travel highlights in Spain for 2015
National
Gallery: Hits and misses of Antonio Banderas
National
Spain's top news in 2015: The Local's predictions
National
Spain's public holidays in 2015: Official list
National
Christmas fireball lights up Spanish skies
National
Top ten: Spain's biggest stories of 2014
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

570
jobs available