Israel among top 10 countries with longest life expectancies - report

Israel boasts one of the highest life expectancies in the world while managing to maintain low healthcare costs.

Hospital bed in Hadassah Ein Kerem (photo credit: HADASSAH SPOKESPERSON)
Hospital bed in Hadassah Ein Kerem
(photo credit: HADASSAH SPOKESPERSON)

Israel has the 10th highest life expectancy in the world, according to research conducted by NiceRx, which claims Israelis have a life expectancy of 83.49 years: 81.98 years for men, and 84.91 years for women.

Taking the number one spot on the list is Hong Kong followed by Japan, Switzerland, Singapore, Italy, Spain, Australia, Iceland, and South Korea.

The list is comprised of OECD countries. Hong Kong, which headed the list with a life expectancy of 85.29 years (82.38 years for men and 88.17 years for women), has seen its life expectancy rise to such a degree, largely, due to beneficial lifestyles and healthcare opportunities that mitigate risks from diseases and chronic conditions.

As a whole, all over the world, fewer people are succumbing to diseases, injuries, or other such things that may cut their life short. As a result, life expectancy all over the world has risen in the past century.

The average life expectancy of someone born in 1960 was 52.5 years, but today the average is 72, according to the BBC.

OECD Secretary General Jose Angel Gurria attends a news conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo, Japan April 13, 2017. (credit: REUTERS/TORU HANAI)OECD Secretary General Jose Angel Gurria attends a news conference at the Japan National Press Club in Tokyo, Japan April 13, 2017. (credit: REUTERS/TORU HANAI)

The meteoric rise in life expectancy over the last half century has slowed

However, as the mortality rates of diseases, injuries, and other conditions have plummeted, the increasing life expectancy has begun to taper off. In fact, in some places, it's even fallen in recent years. According to a 2022 report from the National Center for Health Statistics, from 2019 to 2021 – during the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic – life expectancy in the US fell from 79 to 76 years.

The report claims that, at birth, US life expectancy in 2021 was 76.1 years. This was the lowest the US life expectancy has been since 1996.

The main contributors to the fall in life expectancy were COVID-19, drug overdoses and accidental injury, but secondary causes such as heart disease and suicide also played a role. 

Life expectancy in the US has since climbed again to 79.11 years, according to the NiceRx research.

Although life expectancy in OECD has ceased its dramatic growth and fluctuates slightly from year to year, Israel's life expectancy has maintained a slow growth. There are numerous reasons why Israel does well in relation to other countries. According to an OECD report last year, Israelis, among other things, drink less alcohol and commit suicide less frequently than people in other OECD countries.

Additionally, a 2016 study published by The Taub Center for Social Policy Studies in Israel showed that countries with mandatory military service, such as Israel, enjoy significantly higher life expectancies.

Meanwhile, according to the research by NiceRx, Israel ranked 27 of 39 on the list of countries with respect to healthcare expenditure per capita. In this respect, Israelis spend an average of $3,057.

The country with the highest health care expenditure per capita was the US, whose citizens spend a whopping $12,318.