• 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
Jorge Lorenzo wins home MotoGP in style
Jorge Lorenzo. AFP PHOTO/ JORGE GUERRER

Jorge Lorenzo wins home MotoGP in style

Jorge Lorenzo celebrated being kept on by Yamaha for next season by easily winning the Spanish MotoGP at Jerez on Sunday in front of former Spanish King Juan Carlos READ  

Podemos co-founder resigns prompting crisis
Photo: Javier Soriano/AFP

Podemos co-founder resigns prompting crisis

One of the founders of Spain's anti-austerity Podemos party unexpectedly resigned on Thursday, plunging the poll-topping upstart into its first major crisis ahead of key elections this year. READ  

Chef saves life of man choking on a sausage
Jose Andres was honoured by Barack Obama for his charity work. Photo: Brendan Smialowski / AFP

Chef saves life of man choking on a sausage

His skill in the kitchen has long been recognized but celebrity chef Jose Andres is being hailed a hero for an entirely different reason: He saved the life of a man choking on a bratwurst. READ  

Shaolin slayer jailed for brutal double murder
Aguilar in a still from a YouTube video from the channel of his Buddhist monastry "Ocean of Tranquility". Screen grab: YouTube

Shaolin slayer jailed for brutal double murder

A fake shaolin monk has been sentenced to 38 years in prison for the brutal murder of two women in Bilbao. READ  

Madrid's iconic 'four towers' to become five
Madrid's four towers are set to become five. Photo: Isra el/Flickr

Madrid's iconic 'four towers' to become five

A new skyscraper is to rise, phoenix-like, from the site of a multimillion euro public spending failure. READ  

Spain's economy growth jumps in first quarter
Photo: AFP

Spain's economy growth jumps in first quarter

Spain's economy growth accelerated in the first quarter of 2015, provisional official data showed on Thursday, in a fresh sign that the nation's recovery is gathering momentum even though unemployment remains high. READ  

Video
Shocking video sends nursery teacher to jail
The Spanish teaching assistant was sent to prison for four years for mistreating children. Screen grab: elperiodico.com

Shocking video sends nursery teacher to jail

It is footage that will send shivers down the spine of any parent who leaves their child at nursery - and has sent a Spanish teaching assistant to jail. READ  

Video
Hallelujah! Spanish priest sings like an angel
Father Damián, the hipster priest with the heavenly voice. Screen grab: Padre Damián/YouTube

Hallelujah! Spanish priest sings like an angel

A 28-year-old priest has amazed viewers with his rendition of Robbie Williams classic 'Angels' on the Spanish version of singing competition, The Voice. READ  

Spain's state broadcaster accused of political bias
The RTVE communication tower in Madrid. Photo: Daniel Castellano / Flickr

Spain's state broadcaster accused of political bias

Spain's conservative government on Wednesday rejected accusations of political interference in state television ahead of regional and parliamentary elections this year. READ  

The Local list
Five reasons why it’s good to be gay in Spain
The Europride parade in Madrid. Photo: Bru Garcia / AFP.

Five reasons why it’s good to be gay in Spain

As the US Supreme Court mulls what many have called one of the greatest civil rights issues of the time, The Local takes a look some of the major advantages for the LGBT community in Spain. READ  

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Features
Top ten: Madrid's best rooftop bars
National
British expats fall victim to NHS clampdown
Travel
Benidorm: Cultural wonder of the world?
National
King Juan Carlos led 'double-life' with lover
Features
Happy book day! Top ten Spanish literary gifts
Features
Ten best UNESCO world heritage sites in Spain
Features
All the fun of the fair: Seville's Feria de Abril
National
Off with her hair! Queen Letizia debuts new do
National
Barcelona bans tourists from famous market
National
Rockers pen 'We don't love Ryanair' ballad
Travel
Location tours start for 'Game of Thrones' fans
National
Top ten things to do in Castellón
First house sold by lottery ticket in Spain
National
Official: Francisco Franco was a dictator
National
Olives and vino at risk from climate change
National
Olé! Madonna orders tour bullfighting suits
National
Jihadists planned attacks in Spain: judge
Politics
Spain's 'Citizens' party fires up voters
Travel
'No pooing': village tells pilgrims in north Spain
National
Spain's newest export to France: Vultures
National
Spain gets first memorial stones to Nazi victims
National
Town in shock at expat double murder
National
Brit family of four dead after Gibraltar stabbing
National
What's on in Spain: April 2015
National
Priest arrested for exorcism on anorexic girl
Can the 'nightmare' of a pilot downing a plane be prevented?
National
Could this be Spain's own Maggie Thatcher?
National
Spain outstrips France and Italy in wine exports
National
What country is Catalonia most like?
International
Exposed: actress who faked Oscar glory
Society
Ten phrases you'll only hear at work in Spain
National
Brooms up! Quidditch casts its spell over Spain
International
Spanish crowned world's happiest language
National
Eight cool things the crisis did for Spain
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
Property
House sales up for first year since crisis began
What's On
Ten golden rules for snagging a Spanish man
International
Vinnie Jones teaches Spanish in hilarious ad
Gallery
The highs and lows of the Spanish property market
National
The five strangest things about Spaniards
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

3,318
jobs available
?>