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Africa’s L — Life Expectancy

What is the average life expectancy in Africa?

February 16, 2005

What is the average life expectancy in Africa?

During the past 20 years, infant mortality in Africa dropped from 116 to 91 per 1,000 live births — and the mortality rate of children under five years of age decreased from 187 to 162 per 1,000.

However, adult mortality soared, largely because of AIDS. Consequently, only 46% of African women and 40% of men reach the age of 65. That is the lowest proportion in the world.

Life expectancy at birth has declined from 48 years in 1980 to 46 in 2002 — not only the shortest life-span of any region, but th eonly one showing decline.

This deplorable situation is not only a result of poverty. What worsens the situation is also weak management on the part of many African states.

In particular, government health officials across Africa, for a variety of reasons, tend to neglect the poorest segments of the population.