One would expect that life expectancy in the United States to be among the highest in the world. As one of the most highly developed countries, the expectation would be that American health care efficiency would reflect on life expectancy data. The data holds some surprises:

“…A baby born in the United States in 2004 will live an average of 77.9 years. That life expectancy ranks 42nd, down from 11th two decades earlier, according to international numbers provided by the Census Bureau and domestic numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics.

Andorra, a tiny country in the Pyrenees mountains between France and Spain, had the longest life expectancy, at 83.5 years, according to the Census Bureau. It was followed by Japan, Macau, San Marino and Singapore.”

link: US Slipping in Life Expectancy Rankings

This may be further evidence of the ‘haves and have-nots’. America may lead in health care knowledge, education and other quality of life variables. Unfortunately, it is not available or affordable to all.

Catherine Forsythe

[tags]life expectancy, rankings, health care, education, costs[/tags]