Wednesday, 06 Aug, 2008 Science
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Japanese Women Are the Longest Living in the World

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Japanese women were once again named the longest living people in the world in 2008, showing the life expectancy of 86 years, Japan's health ministry reported.

Japanese girls born in 2007 can expect to live to an age of 86 years old, ranking the first in the list of the world' longevity for 23 years.

Japanese boys will have an average life expectancy of 79,2, following Iceland and Hong Kong males.

The longer life expectancy of Japanese women is explained by such factors as healthier diets and close social ties. The improvements of medical treatment of such diseases as cancer, heart disease and stroke also contribute to longer lifespan, a ministry spokesman said.

Japan also tops the world as the country with the lowest birth rates in the world. This fact brings special concern to the government as Japan is ageing faster than other countries. The statistics show that nearly tenth of the population today is 75 years or older.

The number of Japanese people aged over 65 is expected to double by the middle of the century. Thus, Japan would have to deal with the increased pension funding and find new ways of maintaining productivity.

According to the last year statistics, Taiwanese women ranked the second in the list of longest lived, and Spanish and Swiss women on the third and forth place respectively. The shortest male and female life expectancy with only 37 years is found among Swaziland people.

Source: Reuters

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