Between 2005 and 2015, life expectancy in Mexico fell by one year, according to a report published this week by the National Population Council (CONAPO). In 2005, life expectancy in the country was 77.8 years for women and 72.6 for men but in 2015 the figure decreased by approximately one year, to 77.6 for women and 71.9 for men. This stands in contrast to global life expectancy figures, which have gone up continuously since 2000, according to the WHO, which cites improvements in health care and the development of medical devices and pharmaceutical products.

WHAT AFFECTS LIFE EXPECTANCY?

According to the OECD, life expectancy can be impacted by standard of living, lifestyle, education and access to health services, among others. The global life expectancy charts published by the WHO show that countries with a positive economic development, better education and greater access to medical care have increased their population’s life expectancy over the years.

IS LIFE EXPECTANCY THE SAME FOR EVERYONE?

According to the same report, in 2015, the gap between those states with the highest life expectancy and those with the lowest was three and a half years. Mexico City had the highest life expectancy (76.2) and Guerrero the lowest (72.7). The average life expectancy in Mexico was 74.7 years in 2015. However, 50 percent of the country’s states are below that average.

Source: CONAPO, 2018.

Those states above the national average also had the lowest stratification in the country, according to INEGI’s state classification according to the levels of stratification. States that ranked below the average, such as Guerrero, Oaxaca, Chiapas, Tabasco, Puebla, Hidalgo, showed a greater degree of stratification.

Source: INEGI, 2017.

 

According to CONAPO’s report, recent fluctuations in life expectancy “are a reflection of changes in mortality levels due to the increase in older adults and deaths related to diabetes mellitus and violent causes.” INEGI’s data show that between 2007 and 2011, Mexico experienced an increase in its homicide rate that coincided in time with the war against drug trafficking undertaken by former President Felipe Calderón, who governed between 2006 and 2012.

 

Source: INEGI, 2017

According to CONAPO, in 2050 the life expectancy in Mexico is expected to increase to 79 years, while the gap between states will be reduced to 1.7 years. To ensure that these projections are met, the country must provide its citizens with a better quality of life, greater access to quality education and health, the report said.

Alessa Flores

by Alessa Flores

Industry Analyst and Journalist at Mexico Business Publishing

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