By: Tyler Curry

Over the last few decades, there have been incredible advancements in healthcare and medicine – and people are living longer as a result. But there are still disparities between certain countries: quality of life, average life span, and the relationship these factors have to levels of income. We used Visart to take a deeper look.

Most of the world lives last between 70 – 80 years.

Average life expectancy ranges from 70 to 80 years old, but there are parts in world where life expectancy adds up to a mere 40 or 50. Others amount to 80 or 90 years.

What Geographic 1

Life expectancy in Sub-Saharan Africa, once noting a mere 42 years, has increased nearly ten-fold in the past forty years.  South Asian populations have taken part in a similar increase with at even more drastic incline (indicated in light blue). Top surviving countries like North America, Europe, Central Asia and Latin America have increased at a steadier pace.

What Geographic 2

Monaco survives the eldest citizens.

As identified in the chart, Monaco is the longest living place on earth – reaching a record 89.57 years, on average, with a five year gap ahead of the runner ups. So what makes Monaco so long-livable? Officially titled the Principality of Monaco, this is a sovereign city-state (or microstate)
What Geographic 3 perched on the coastal region of the French Riviera.

It borders France on three sides and is located near an important coastal path that extends from Spain through France to Italy. The country is nearly all Roman Catholic and has a strong national identity. People of this Principality have access to locally produced, fresh cuisine.

Economic industry is small but significant, giving rise to tourism, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, flour milling and real estate investments. Known as an exclusive resort destination, the country faces minimal concerns of poverty and crime. The primary issues are economic sustainability, environmental concerns and maintaining the Monegasque quality of life.

 Citizens of Chad live a relatively short life.

What Geographic 4Data supports the claim that Chadians have the shortest expected lifespan, collectively, amounting to 49.44 years as of 2014. Deeper investigation into why the life expectancy is so low in this country can be linked to Chad’s decentralized government, lack of resources, internal conflict (between the northern and southern regions), and minimal industrial revenue. Chad was once a colony of France, and still faces many social problems as a sovereign nation today. Famine, widespread poverty, crime and lack of education and healthcare are just a few issues that we can assume affect the populations overall life expectancy.

When comparing the economic differences between Monaco and Chad, we find that Monaco boasts minimal social stratification, no taxes, natural abundance from their coastal terrain and a haven of luxury evident in material goods (i.e. cars, yachts, high rises). The only economic issue is space, but with a supportive government and much aid from France this has little effect on the industry. On the other land, Chad faces disparities on several fronts – civil tension, lack of national or religious unity, minimal resources which affect overall industry. The government has been remodeled three times – since gaining independence in 1960 – leaving communities wholly self-sufficient and in economic poverty.

Income Determines Life Expectancy

What Geographic 5

As we can see in the stark differences in Chad and Monaco, income plays a key factor in a nations average life span. Data illustrates the direct correlations between income level and average life expectancy. Charts reveal that Sub-Saharan Africa (Chad) has improved significantly since 1960, but stagnated from years 1982 – 2004. Since 1960, Europe and Central Africa has been on a consistent incline (identified in dark blue).

We’re all living longer these days.

Worldwide, life expectancy has improved by 34.51% since 1960. The most significant improvements being in South Asia. This is consistent with international advancements in medicine, access to education and healthcare. At 14.4%, North America shows the least improvement, but remains among the longest living. In the US, life span is of growing concern as marketers explore ways to include growing and longer-living multicultural demographics.

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Average lifespan improvement are consistent with lower income levels from years 1960 to 2014. Madagascar, Bhutan, Timor-Leste are the top three most improved, while  Botswana, Ukraine, and Laos are the least improved.

What Geographic 7What Geographic 9

Overall, life expectancy has improved by approximately 30%, across the board. We delve deeper to see the most improvement coming from the lower middle class – and high income populations seeing the least amount of change. Lower income populations have more aid than in 1960, which more closely levels the lifespan with high income individuals.

What Geographic 8

What can be gathered from this data? Income, quality of life and average expected lifespan are directly related. For example, the world’s most densely populated and longest living city, Monaco, is noted as a resort haven for its national pride, access to resources and overall high income. Chad on the other hand is a disparate nation with civil unrest, lack of industry and holds widespread insecurity – which seem to affect the average life expectancy.

The very misfortune that affects some of the world’s lowest thriving countries is often aided by super power nations from across the globe. Life expectancy lives at the sociological and individual level – where every day realities can be grand or in complete despair.


CIA World Factbook:

World Bank: