SEJONG, Dec. 5 (Korea Bizwire) — South Korean babies born in 2016 are expected to live more than 82 years as the risk of death has been diminished by medical advances and other developments, a government report showed Tuesday.
The life expectancy at birth averaged 82.4 years in 2016, slightly up from the previous year’s 82.1 years, according to the report by Statistics Korea.
Baby boys and girls were expected to live 79.3 years and 85.4 years, respectively, last year, with the male-female difference narrowing 0.1 year to 6.1 years.
The gender gap in life expectancy has been on a steady decline since 1985, when it peaked at 8.6 years.
The statistics report also showed that a 40-year-old man in 2016 will be alive for the next 40.4 years, while a 40-year-old woman could live till she is 86.4 years old. For those aged 60, men have 22.5 remaining years with numbers for women hitting 27.2 years.
A baby boy born last year has a 57.9 percent chance of reaching 80, while the chances of a baby girl becoming an octogenarian stood at 78.4 percent.
The chances that a person could die of cancer in the future stood at 27.1 percent for male babies and 16.4 percent for female babies, while the death rate from heart problems stood at 10.1 percent for men and 13 percent for women.
If the death risk from cancer is excluded, the life expectancies for male and female babies increase by 4.9 years and 2.9 years, respectively, the report said.
In comparison with the 35 member countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), South Korea’s life expectancies for male and female babies are 1.4 years and 2.3 years longer than the OECD average, respectively.
The country’s life expectancy for men ranked 15th, while that for women stood at fourth. Iceland had the longest male life expectancy of 81.2 years, with Japanese women living the longest at 87.1 years.