Africa: Life Expectancy, by region and gender
in years
in years
Northern Africa7175
Eastern Africa6167
Southern Africa5965
Middle Africa5862
Western Africa5759
Africa (total)6165
  • Region: Africa
  • Time period: 2023
  • Published: 2023

Data Analysis and Insights

Updated: Apr 13, 2024 | Published by: Statistico

Overall Life Expectancy in Africa

Africa as a whole presents an average life expectancy of 61 years for males and 65 years for females, showcasing a gender disparity where women live longer than men by 4 years. This difference in lifespan highlights the broader trend observed globally where females tend to have a higher life expectancy than males.

Regional Variations in Life Expectancy

Northern Africa stands out with the highest life expectancy across the continent, boasting figures of 71 years for males and 75 years for females. This significantly surpasses the averages seen in other regions, particularly when compared to Middle Africa, where males and females have the lowest life expectancies at 58 and 62 years, respectively. The disparity emphasizes the impact of regional factors on health and longevity.

Southern and Middle Africa's Struggle

Southern and Middle Africa exhibit the most concerning life expectancy figures, with Southern Africa at 59 years for males and 65 years for females, and Middle Africa slightly lower at 58 and 62 years respectively. These regions, characterized by their struggle with health crises such as HIV/AIDS and malaria, reflect the urgent need for enhanced healthcare services and interventions.

Gender Disparity Across Regions

Gender disparity is consistent across all African regions, with women living longer than men. The smallest gap is observed in Western Africa, where the difference is only 2 years (57 years for males vs. 59 years for females). In contrast, Northern Africa has the largest gap, with women outliving men by 4 years. These figures point towards a universal trend of female resilience and longevity, albeit varying in magnitude across different locales.

Eastern Africa: A Middle Ground

Eastern Africa represents a median life expectancy with 61 years for males and 67 years for females. Though not the highest, these numbers offer a glimpse into a region that, while facing significant health challenges, performs better than its southern and middle counterparts. This suggests a degree of success in health initiatives and perhaps more stable socioeconomic conditions compared to areas with lower life expectancy.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average life expectancy in Africa?

The average life expectancy in Africa is 61 years for males and 65 years for females, with women living longer than men by 4 years.

Which region in Africa has the highest life expectancy?

Northern Africa has the highest life expectancy in Africa, with 71 years for males and 75 years for females.

Which regions in Africa show the lowest life expectancy figures?

Southern and Middle Africa have the lowest life expectancies, with Southern Africa at 59 years for males and 65 years for females, and Middle Africa at 58 and 62 years, respectively.

What is the gender disparity in life expectancy across Africa?

Gender disparity in life expectancy is consistent across all African regions, with the smallest gap in Western Africa at 2 years and the largest in Northern Africa at 4 years.

Terms and Definitions

Life expectancy is a statistical measurement that estimates the average number of years a person is expected to live, based on the year of their birth, current age and other demographic factors including gender.

Demographics describe the characteristics of a specific population. These characteristics, such as age, gender, ethnic background, and income level, can impact and be used to predict various aspects of health, including life expectancy.

Healthcare quality refers to the degree to which health services increase the likelihood of desired health outcomes and are consistent with current professional knowledge. High-quality healthcare often leads to a longer life expectancy, while lower-quality or more limited access to healthcare can reduce life expectancy.
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