Global Life Expectancy (Infographic)
A study by the United Nations shows that U.S. life expectancy is years shorter than in many other countries.
Credit: Ross Toro, LiveScience contributor

A recent study by the United Nations shows that the United States still trails many of the world's countries when it comes to life expectancy. Life expectancy at birth refers to the number of years a newborn would be expected to live if current patterns of mortality at the time of birth were to stay the same throughout their life.

The UN study which projects life expectancy through 2015, has women in Japan and Hong Kong being the longest lived at 87 and 86 years respectively although Japan's Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare had Japanese women losing the top spot for the first time in 25 years in 2011 when life expectancy at birth dropped from 86.30 in 2010 in 2010 to 85.90 in 2011. For Hong Kong, the rate for females was 86.7 years. Japanese men dipped from 79.55 in 2010 to 79.44 in 2011, while Hong Kong males was 80.5 years in 2011.

American women had a life expectancy of 81 years in the UN study while men were projected at 76 years. Both failed to crack the top ten of countries with the highest life expectancy.

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