To improve the living conditions in Africa in the long term, rapid leaps in development are necessary. Our study shows how these leaps can be achieved.
For about a century average life expectancy has grown steadily, in a steep and seemingly inexorable manner. While people were living an average of 30 years at around 1900, human kind has reached a mean life span of 71 years nowadays. Can this trend continue? Longevity-optimists are convinced that people living today may very well grow 150 years old. Yet, in many developed countries, societies are divided into two groups: one group consists of people reaching a very high age, remaining fit and healthy for a long time; another group is composed of less privileged people who are more likely to fall ill and die sooner. Health and life expectancy are essentially influenced by two factors: social status and educational level. The study shows how global differences in life expectancy come about. Society and politics are called upon to take action in order to compensate for health inequalities.
The Berlin Institute would like to thank the Nuremberg Institute for Market Decisions (formerly GfK Verein) for supporting this research project.