“Life Expectancy” – What does this actually mean? - Our World in Data
The interactive chart below shows that life expectancy has increased substantially around the world in the last couple of centuries. As a matter of fact, the data tells us that in the long run life expectancy has increased in all countries around the world.
Life expectancy is one of the key measures of a population’s health, and an indicator used widely by policymakers and researchers to complement economic measures of prosperity, such as GDP per capita. It is easy to see that the trends in the chart below are a fantastic achievement reflecting widespread improvements in global health.
However, despite its importance and prominence in research and policy, it is surprisingly difficult to find a simple yet detailed description of what “life expectancy” actually means. In this blog post, we try to fill this gap.