03 Oct 2012
New Delhi, India.
The lifespan of an average Indian will continue to increase over the next decade. By 2016, an average Indian male and female will live till 68.8 and 71.1 years, respectively.
This will increase by one more year for an average male by 2021 (69.8 years) and by 1.2 years for an average female (72.1), according to Union health ministry’s life expectation (LE) at birth projection released last week.
When compared to the LE estimates of 2008 – to be announced by the Registrar General of India (RGI) this week and reported by TOI on Tuesday – the lifespan of an average Indian male will increase by 5.2 years and that of a female by 4.6 years between 2008 and 2021.
Interestingly, the gap of LE between a male and a female will start to diminish by then. While an average Indian woman lives 3.1 years longer than her male counterpart, the LE difference will come down to 2.5 years by 2021. However, some things won’t change between now and 2021.
The life expectancy of an average Indian male will continue to be highest in Kerala. While the RGI’s data shows it is presently 71.5 years for an average male in Kerala, the Union health ministry National Health Profile 2011 released last week says it will be 75.2 years in 2021.
As far as females are concerned, Kerala once again will take the top spot in 2021 with an average woman living as long as 78.6 years then as compared to 76.9 in Kerala now.
The five states with highest LE for an Indian male in RGI’s 2008 data are Kerala, Jammu & Kashmir, Maharashtra, Himachal Pradesh, Punjab and West Bengal.
This list by 2021 will see J&K and Himachal Pradesh disappear to make way for Gujarat and Haryana.
As far as LE of a female is concerned, the new entrants in the top five list in 2021 will be Karnataka and Gujarat in place of Jammu & Kashmir and Himachal Pradesh.
The phenomenon of females living longer than their male counterparts will continue till 2021.
However, the states which will see the highest difference between the LE of a female against that of an average Indian male will be Karnataka (4.5 years), Andhra Pradesh (3.9 years), Maharashtra and Odisha (3.8 years), Rajasthan (3.5 years), Kerala and Tamil Nadu (3.4 years), West Bengal and Punjab (3.3 years) and Gujarat (3).
The difference, however, won’t be much in a few states like Bihar (0.8 years), Assam (1.7 years) and Madhya Pradesh (1.3 years).
According to the World Health Organization's health statistics 2011, the average life expectancy at birth stood at 68 years in 2009 – an increase by two years since 2000.
The health statistics 2011 had said that an average Indian (both sexes) lived eight years longer in 2009, compared to what he did two decades ago. However, it was still three years less than the global average LE.
According to the WHO data, an average Indian lived till 65 years in 2009. In comparison, an average Indian lived for 57 years in 1990 and 61 years in 2000.
Globally, the average life expectancy at birth stood at 68 years in 2009 an increase by two years since 2000.
WHO said since 1990, LE has increased globally by four years (both sexes). However, during the 1990s, it stagnated in Europe and decreased in Africa. WHO estimated that compared to an average Indian’s LE in 2009, a Chinese (both sexes) lived nine years longer. The LE of an average Chinese (both sexes) stood at 68 years in 1990 which increased to 71 years in 2000. In 2009, it stood at 74 years. An average Pakistani, however, lived two years shorter than an average Indian in 2009. The LE stood at 63 years in Pakistan, Nepal (67 years), Thailand (70 years) and Bangladesh (65 years).