Life Expectancy (2023)

Key Messages

  • British Columbia and Ontario finish with “A” grades on life expectancy. B.C. places behind only two of Canada’s international peers—Switzerland and Japan.
  • The territories are at the bottom of the rankings, with life expectancy in Nunavut the lowest at 71.8 years.
  • B.C. also has the highest life expectancy for those who reach 65, and B.C. residents spend a large portion of their lives in full health.

Putting life expectancy in context

An average person living during the time of the Roman Empire might have expected to live 25 years. At the turn of the 20th century, an individual had a life expectancy of 50 years. In 2011, the estimated average life expectancy in Canada and its peer countries was 81.3 years.

Life expectancy measures the average number of years a baby born today can be expected to live. It is widely regarded as an indicator of a country’s overall health. Life expectancy has increased dramatically for most people in the world today, except those living in AIDS-ravaged sub-Saharan Africa. Improvements in sanitation, nutrition, medicine, and medical technology have all helped increase life expectancy.

How do the provinces and territories rank relative to Canada’s international peers?

British Columbia and Ontario score “A” grades on life expectancy and place among the top five, along with the leading peer countries, Switzerland, Japan, and France. In 2011, life expectancy in B.C. was 82.2 years—only Switzerland (82.8 years) and Japan (82.7 years) have higher life expectancies.

With a life expectancy of 81.8 years in 2011, Quebec ranks just above the national average life expectancy of 81.5 years and scores a “B” grade. Overall, Canada gets a “B” with a life expectancy slightly higher than the peer-country average. Alberta and New Brunswick also get “B”s.

P.E.I. scores a “C” grade on life expectancy. Nova Scotia, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Manitoba rank near the bottom of the pack but also manage to get “C” grades as a result of the low life expectancy in the worst-performing peer country, the United States. The average American born in 2011 will live for 78.7 years. Saskatchewan is the worst-ranking province and scores a “D” grade.

The territories all score “D-” grades for having lower life expectancies than the worst-performing peer country, the United States. In Nunavut, the life expectancy in 2011 was only 71.8 years.

How do the provinces and territories perform relative to each other?

B.C. and Ontario are the highest-ranked provinces and the only two “A” performers on life expectancy, while Manitoba and Saskatchewan are the lowest-ranking provinces. Life expectancy in B.C. is 2.6 years longer than in Saskatchewan. All three territories rank at the bottom of the pack.

Why is life expectancy in the territories so low?

Life expectancy in the territories is much lower than in the rest of Canada. In fact, at 71.8 years, life expectancy in Nunavut is more comparable to Ukraine than the rest of Canada.1 A child born today in Nunavut is expected to live about 10 years less than a child born in British Columbia.

Several factors could be responsible for the lower life expectancy in the territories. First, the territories do poorly on socio-economic indicators considered to be key determinants of health. For example, the territories have higher levels of long-term unemployment and lower proportions of high school and university graduates.2, 3 The territories also have some of the highest rates of smoking, obesity, and substance abuse in Canada. All of these are associated with poor health. In 2013, 19.3 per cent of the Canadian population aged 12 years or older smoked daily or occasionally—in Yukon, Northwest Territories, and Nunavut the smoking rates in 2013 were 25.9 per cent, 33.2 per cent, and 59 per cent, respectively.4

Suicide rates in the territories are among the highest in the nation, particularly in Nunavut, where the suicide rate was more than six times the national average in 2011.5

The remoteness of the territories may also contribute to the lower life expectancies. Outside of the cities, accidents and injuries in the territories can claim a lot more lives because the distance to care is often much greater than in the provinces. The northern regions of most provinces suffer the same issues related to remoteness; however, the provinces have much larger shares of their populations in the south, masking these issues.

What role does wealth play in life expectancy?

Economics plays a critical role in life expectancy. On average, people in high-income countries live 19 years longer than people in low-income countries.6 The average life expectancy in Canada and its peer countries—among the richest in the world—is 81.3 years. People in Africa live, on average, to age 58, while people in Southeast Asia live to age 67.7

Similarly, within a country, wealthier people generally have a longer lifespan than poorer people. Canada has notable regional discrepancies. Annual mortality rates are higher in the most rural areas (those with no commuters) than in urban areas, according to findings from the Canadian Institute for Health Information. “Areas with a higher life expectancy generally have higher incomes, higher levels of education, and higher levels of employment. Other factors associated with better health for a population include a more equitable distribution of income, better housing, a supportive social environment, and good opportunities for early childhood development.”8

Given the poor socio-economic conditions prevalent among Aboriginal populations, these populations have a much lower life expectancy than the total Canadian population. “Studies have shown that Aboriginal people in Canada have life expectancies that are five or more years less than those of the total Canadian population.”9 Among the 10 provinces, the share of the population that is Aboriginal is highest in Manitoba and Saskatchewan, at16.7 and15.6 per cent, respectively. These ratios are even higher in the territories, where the Aboriginal population represents 23.1 per cent in Yukon, 51.9 per cent in N.W.T., and 86.3 per cent in Nunavut.10 Therefore, it is not surprising that life expectancies are lower in the territories and in these two provinces.

Do the rankings change for life expectancy at 65?

Life expectancy at 65 measures the average remaining years of life for a 65 year old, based on the current mortality rates. Generally, life expectancy increases as a person ages, such that the lifespan of a 65 year old is greater than the average life expectancy at birth would dictate.

The rankings don’t change much for life expectancy at age 65. France, Japan, and Switzerland remain the top-ranking peer countries, while B.C. and Ontario maintain their lead among the provinces and territories. B.C. and Ontario drop down to “B” grades for life expectancy at age 65 because top-ranking France does significantly better. A 65 year old in B.C. can expect to live another 20.8 years, while the life expectancy at 65 in France is 21.6 years. Saskatchewan ranks much higher on life expectancy at 65—in 2011, the average person at 65 was expected to live another 19.9 years (to almost 85 years), whereas average life expectancy at birth was 79.7 years. All the provinces do better than the U.S., except Newfoundland and Labrador, which matches the estimated 19.1 extra years of life for the average American aged 65. The territories again languish at the bottom of the rankings.

Is life expectancy the best indicator to describe the health dimension of quality of life?

The life expectancy indicator has sometimes been criticized as placing too much emphasis on quantity of life and not enough on quality of life. To address that issue, the life expectancy report card indicator is complemented by thepremature mortalityand self-reported health statusindicators.

Another indicator that is often used to account for quality of life is health-adjusted life expectancy, or HALE. HALE is the average number of years a person can expect to live in good health.

Instead of considering all years of life as equal, as in the conventional life expectancy indicator, HALE weights years of life according to health status. HALE is calculated by subtracting from life expectancy the average number of years in ill-health weighted for severity of the health problem.

Quebecers born between 2005 and 2007 (the most recent years for which provincial HALE data are available) could expect to spend 88.2 per cent of their life in good health. The average life expectancy in Quebec between 2005 and 2007 was 80.7 years. This means that Quebec’s residents spend an average of 71.2 years in good health.

In B.C., the average person spends 87.4 per cent of his or her life in good health. However, given the higher average life expectancy in B.C., the average person in both Quebec and B.C. was expected to live to age 71 in full health. P.E.I. is the only other province that ranks above the Canadian average of 86.9 per cent of life in full health—though almost all remaining provinces come in at 86 per cent and above. The exception is Nova Scotia, where residents could expect to spend 85.4 per cent of their lives in full health. Given that life expectancy in Nova Scotia was 79.7 years between 2005 and 2007, the average person was expected to spend 68 years in good health. (HALE data are not available for the territories.)

1World Health Organization, Global Health Observatory Data Repository (accessed October 29, 2014).

2Michael Tjepkema, Russell Wilkins, Sacha Senécal, Éric Guimond, and Christopher Penney, ”Mortality of Métis and Registered Indian Adults in Canada: An 11-Year Follow-Up Study,Health Reports, Statistics Canada Catalogue no. 82-003-X 20, no. 4 (2009), 31–51. (accessed December 30, 2011).

3Russell Wilkins, Sharanjit Uppal, PhillipeFinès, SachaSenécal, ÉricGuimond, and Rene Dion, “Life Expectancy in the Inuit-Inhabited Areas of Canada, 1989 to 2003,Health Reports, Statistics Canada Catalogueno.82-003-X 19, no. 1 (2008), 7–19. (accessed December 30, 2011).

4Statistics Canada, CANSIM table105-0501, Health Indicator Profile, Annual Estimates, by Age Group and Sex, Canada, Provinces, Territories, Health Regions; Statistics Canada,Catalogue no.82-221-X, Health Indicators. (accessed November 17, 2014)

5Statistics Canada, CANSIM table 102-0563, Leading Causes of Death, Total Population, by Sex, Canada, Provinces and Territories, Annual. (accessed November 17, 2014)

6World Health Organization, World Health Statistics 2014 (Geneva: WHO, 2014), 42.

7World Health Organization, World Health Statistics 2014 (Geneva: WHO, 2014), 68.

8Canadian Institute for Health Information, Health Care in Canada 2000: A First Annual Report (Ottawa: CIHI, 2000), 6.


Statistics Canada, National Household Survey, Number and Distribution of the Population Reporting an Aboriginal Identity and Percentage of Aboriginal People in the Population, Canada, Provinces and Territories, 2011. (accessed December 2, 2014).

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Life Expectancy? ›

According to the most recent data available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, life expectancy at birth in the United States is 76.4 years. Our ZIP code shouldn't dictate our health. Everyone should have the opportunity to live the healthiest life possible in the place they call home.

How long can a healthy 75 year old expect to live? ›

The study, supported by the American Insurance Group, found that, on average, a 75-year-old American woman with no chronic conditions will live 17.3 additional years (that's to more than 92 years old).

Who has the No 1 life expectancy in the world? ›

Japan. The highest life expectancy in the world is found in Japan, where the average lifespan is 84 years. It is thought that the Japanese diet, intense physical exercise, and easy access to high-quality healthcare are important causes.

What is the average life expectancy of a man? ›

Here's why American men die younger than women on average and how to fix it. Women's life expectancy was 79 years in the U.S. in 2021, while men's was about 73, according to CDC data. The U.S. has a higher rate of avoidable deaths, which is measured as death before the age of 75, among men than any comparable country.

How long will a 92 year old live? ›

RESULTS. Men aged 92 to 93 had an overall 6.0% chance of surviving to 100 years, whereas the chance for women was 11.4%. Being able to rise without use of hands increased the chance for men to 11.2% (95% confidence interval (CI) = 7.7–14.7) and for women to 22.0% (95% CI = 18.9–25.1).

What is the leading cause of death age 75? ›

The major cause of death in the 55-64 age group is cancer followed by heart disease and injury. In the 75+ age group, the leading cause shifts to heart disease, and injury drops below Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD), cerebrovascular diseases, and pneumonia.

What percentage of 80 year olds live to 90? ›

If you are an 80-year-old man, your long-term odds are not great. There is a 30 percent chance of making it to your 90th birthday, and only about 14 in 1,000 will see 100.

What race lives the longest? ›

Asian people have the longest average life expectancy (83.5 years) and American Indian/Alaska Natives the shortest (65.2 years).

What country has lowest life expectancy? ›

According to World Population Review, these countries have the lowest life expectancy.
  • Lesotho (55)
  • Central African Republic (55)
  • South Sudan (57)
  • Somalia (57)
  • Eswatini (58)
  • Namibia (60)
  • Guinea (60)
  • Mali (60)
Mar 24, 2023

What nationality lives the longest? ›

1. Monaco. One of the smallest countries in the world, Monaco also has the UN's longest estimated life expectancy of any country as of 2023. Males in Monaco are expected to live an average of 85.17 years, and females are expected to live an even longer 88.99 years, for an overall average of 87.01 years.

Who live longer married or single? ›

Marriage and longevity

Married men and married women live, on average, two years longer than their unmarried counterparts. One reason for this longevity benefit is the influence of marital partners on healthy behaviors.

How long does the average man live in Canada? ›

80 years

What is the most common cause of death in older adults? ›

This article outlines the top causes of death for adults over the age of 65, starting with the number one cause: heart disease. Using disease prevention strategies, such as eating a healthy diet, quitting smoking, and maintaining a healthy weight, can help you avoid or reduce the impact of some these conditions.

Is longevity inherited from mother or father? ›

This study showed that children's anthropometric traits predicted their parents' longevity better in the case of mothers than fathers. Mothers of small-bodied children and fathers of vigorous sons had higher chances of becoming longevous.

What are the odds of living to 85? ›

The Society of Actuaries (SOA) is the go-to resource. According to the SOA, a 65-year-old male today, in average health, has a 55% probability of living to age 85. For a 65-year-old woman, the probability of reaching 85 is 65%. Age 90 isn't some wild outlier.

What are the odds of living to 90? ›

At the end of the study, about 16 percent of the men and about 34 percent of the women survived to the age of 90. In fact, the authors found that women who were taller than 5 feet 9 inches were 31 percent more likely to reach 90, compared to those who were under 5 feet 3 inches.

What is the biggest killer by age? ›

Accidents are the leading cause of death for people aged 25-44, followed by suicide and cancer. For those 65 and older, the top causes of death are roughly the same as the top causes of death for the overall population (heart disease and cancer). This is because those 65 and older made up 74% of all deaths in 2018.

What are the top 3 causes of death for all ages? ›

Leading Causes of Death
  • Heart disease: 695,547.
  • Cancer: 605,213.
  • COVID-19: 416,893.
  • Accidents (unintentional injuries): 224,935.
  • Stroke (cerebrovascular diseases): 162,890.
  • Chronic lower respiratory diseases: 142,342.
  • Alzheimer's disease: 119,399.
  • Diabetes: 103,294.

What is the number one cause of death in middle-age? ›

In infancy, congenital problems and other birth complications are the largest contributors to infant mortality. Accidents, known as unintentional injury, become the leading cause of death throughout childhood and early adulthood. In middle and late adulthood cancer and heart disease become the leading killers.

What are the odds of living to 90 in Canada? ›

The chart below shows that out of 1,000 women, 173, or 17 per cent, will still be alive and in good health at 90. A further 357, or 36 per cent, will have a critical illness at age 90. Only nine out of 1,000 will make it to 100 without contracting a critical illness.

Do taller people live longer? ›

Researchers also discovered that “shorter, smaller bodies have lower death rates and fewer diet-related chronic diseases, especially past middle age.” The lifespans of shorter people appear to be longer than their taller counterparts, the paper says.

What diet makes you live the longest? ›

A Mediterranean diet remains one of the gold standards for living longer and more healthfully. This pattern is characterized by a high intake of fruits and vegetables; whole grains; pulses; healthful fats from nuts, olive oil, and avocado; and herbs and spices. It includes seafood a few times a week.

Where do the healthiest people live in the world? ›

5 Places Where People Live the Longest and Healthiest Lives
  • Sardinia, Italy. A largely plant-based diet, daily physical activity and familial closeness have given this Blue Zone the highest concentration of male centenarians in the world. ...
  • Okinawa, Japan. ...
  • Nicoya, Costa Rica. ...
  • Loma Linda, Calif., U.S.A. ...
  • Ikaria, Greece.
Feb 15, 2018

Why do Japanese live longer? ›

Japanese life expectancy

This low mortality is mainly attributable to a low rate of obesity, low consumption of red meat, and high consumption of fish and plant foods such as soybeans and tea. In Japan, the obesity rate is low (4.8% for men and 3.7% for women).

What was the life expectancy in BC times? ›

Their ages of death were compared to men listed in the more recent Chambers Biographical Dictionary. Of 397 ancients in total, 99 died violently by murder, suicide or in battle. Of the remaining 298, those born before 100BC lived to a median age of 72 years. Those born after 100BC lived to a median age of 66.

Why do females live longer than males? ›

Biological differences also help to explain women's higher longevity. Scientists believe that estrogen in women combats conditions such as heart disease by helping reduce circulatory levels of harmful cholesterol. Women are also thought to have stronger immune systems than men.

Is life expectancy based on year of birth? ›

Life expectancy is a statistical measure of the average time someone is expected to live, based on the year of their birth, current age and other demographic factors including their sex.

Why do Asians live longer? ›

Response: Nearly 90% (or 6.9 years) of this gap is attributable to the fact that Asians tend to outlive whites regardless of the cause of death (age effect). The causes that contribute the most to the gap are heart disease (24%) and cancers (18%).

What is the average lifespan of a woman? ›

This puts the male citizens of the US in 43rd place in this ranking. On average, US women are 5.8 years older, reaching an age of 79.3. The world average age of death is a few years lower at 68.9 years for men and 73.9 years for women. Within the European Union, these are 77.7 and 83.3 years respectively.

What ethnicity lives the most? ›

Life expectancy for Black people was only 70.8 years compared to 76.4 years for White people and 77.7 years for Hispanic people. It was highest for Asian people at 83.5 years and lowest for AIAN people who had a life expectancy of 65.2 years.

How many days a woman can live without husband? ›

If a couple must stay apart, it shouldn't be for more than six months or maximum one year. During this period, conscious and sustained efforts must be made to manage the issues which distance breeds like loneliness, non-frequent sex, lack of emotional and physical support.

What age do most couples live together? ›

Roughly 20% of unmarried couples between the ages of 26-29 live together. This age demographic has the highest number of unmarried couples cohabitating, followed by couples between the ages of 30-34 (15.4%). Less than 7% of unmarried couples over age 65 live together.

What percentage of marriages last a lifetime? ›

The likelihood of divorce might be less than you think.

Many people believe that this figure is around 50%. However, the actual percentage of marriages that end in divorce in the US varies between 40% and 50%. This means you are more likely to stay married than dissolve your marriage.

Which province in Canada has the highest life expectancy? ›

B.C. also has the highest life expectancy for those who reach 65, and B.C. residents spend a large portion of their lives in full health.

What is the most common age of death in Canada? ›

Although Canadians are living longer, with a life expectancy of 81.7 years and a most common age at death of 85 years, the ability of many adults to perform key health functions, that is, their functional healthNote 16 declines as they age.

What percentage of Canadians live to be 100 years old? ›

Centenarians represent 0.03% of the Canadian population. While women still outnumber men, the ratio of women to men among people aged 85 and older is decreasing.

What age is elderly? ›

Traditionally, the “elderly” are considered to be those persons age 65 and older.

Which disease kills most in the world? ›

What's the deadliest disease? Ischemic heart disease is the leading cause of death around the globe. Other conditions, such as stroke, COPD, lower respiratory infections, and respiratory cancers, also account for a significant portion of deaths each year.

What percentage of the population lives to be 75? ›

Question: Government data show that 6% of the American population are at least 75 years of age and that about 52% of Americans are women.

What is the strongest predictor of longevity? ›

Parental longevity is one of the most important predictors of survival to age 100 for both men and women.

What is the most important duration in human life? ›

The most important phase of life is the first few years when you are a child. That's when the brain grows really fast – faster than any other time in our life. The brain makes [more than 1 million] new connections every second!

What is inherited from father only? ›

Because boys have the sex chromosomes XY, they must inherit their Y chromosome from their father. This means they inherit all the genes on this chromosome, including things like sperm production and other exclusively male traits.

How long can an 86 year old woman expect to live? ›

Life Expectancy Tables
AgeLife Expectancy-MaleLife Expectancy-Female
116 more rows
Jun 13, 2019

How many 80 year olds live to 90? ›

If you are an 80-year-old man, your long-term odds are not great. There is a 30 percent chance of making it to your 90th birthday, and only about 14 in 1,000 will see 100.

What percentage of people make it to 70? ›

43 percent of people worldwide now live into their seventies, up from 33 percent twenty years ago. But just because we're living longer doesn't mean we're living better.

What is the most common cause of death in the world? ›

Cardiovascular disease is the top cause of death globally. In the map we see death rates from cardiovascular diseases across the world.

How long will a healthy 90 year old live? ›

Research has also emerged that investigates medical procedures for very old adults,46 but life expectancy for very old adults is still short in most high-income countries, ranging from around 8 to 10 years for 80-year-olds to 4 to 5 years for 90-year-olds (online Table S1).

What percentage of the population lives to be 95? ›

Individuals should plan for living well beyond the average – to age 95 or even 100 – especially those in good health. For non-smokers in excellent health, there is almost one in three chance that women will live to age 95 or beyond and one in five chance that men will live to age 95 or beyond.

Is 75 years old considered elderly? ›

Who is Defined as Elderly? Typically, the elderly has been defined as the chronological age of 65 or older. People from 65 to 74 years old are usually considered early elderly, while those over 75 years old are referred to as late elderly.

At what age does health rapidly decline? ›

Researchers with Duke University's School of Medicine suggest that physical decline begins in the decade of the 50s and worsens as we age, especially for those who don't exercise.

What is the life expectancy for a 77 year old? ›

Your life expectancy is estimated at 83.5 years.

What is it called when you turn 75 years old? ›

A person between 70 and 79 is called a septuagenarian. A person between 80 and 89 is called an octogenarian. A person between 90 and 99 is called a nonagenarian. A person between 100 and 109 is called a centenarian. A person 110 years old or older is called a supercentenarian.

What years do you age the most? ›

For example, the team suggests that the biological aging process isn't steady and appears to accelerate periodically — with the greatest bursts coming, on average, around ages 34, 60, and 78.

What organs decline with age? ›

The biggest changes in organ reserve occur in the heart, lungs, and kidneys. The amount of reserve lost varies between people and between different organs in a single person. These changes appear slowly and over a long period.

What are the physical signs of getting old? ›

Some signs of aging can be seen from the outside: Your hair turns gray, and wrinkles and age spots appear on your skin. Our bodies are less able to store fluid in older age, so our spinal discs shrink and lose elasticity, for instance. As a result, people get smaller as they grow older.

What age do you start feeling tired? ›

However, most people start experiencing a decline in their energy levels by the time they reach their mid-thirties. And this decline in energy levels can be attributed to various factors, including changes in metabolism, hormonal changes, and lifestyle factors such as diet, exercise, and stress.

What is the average age of death by old age? ›

The world average age of death is a few years lower at 68.9 years for men and 73.9 years for women. Within the European Union, these are 77.7 and 83.3 years respectively. Birth rate and death rate are given in births/deaths per 1,000 inhabitants within one year. The table shows the official data from the year 2021.

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