After looking into the countries with the highest life expectancies, we decided to take a look at the opposite end of the rank and focus on countries where people live the shortest lives on Earth. Generally, the average life expectancy of humans has an increasing tendency. Just in the United States alone, for example, the average life expectancy has increased by ten years over the past five decades. Yet, there are still many countries where people live very short lives.
There are various factors that influence life expectancy, including diet, public health, medical care, economic circumstances, gender differences, crime rate, wars etc. With that said, it comes as no surprise that most of countries with the lowest life expectancy are located in poor African and war-torn regions. It’s still surprising however, to come face to face with the fact that there are countries with average life expectancies of under 50 years. Compared to the Hong-Kongers or the Japanese who live nearly 84 years on average, it is significantly less! To find out what countries have the shortest average life spans in the world, check out the 25 Countries With The Lowest Life Expectancy In The World.
Starting off our list with the lowest life expectancies is Botswana. This mid-sized South African country of just over 2 million people enjoys relative political stability and socioeconomic prosperity (compared to other countries on the list). However, Botswana suffers from an HIV/AIDS epidemic with around a quarter of its population being infected. Therefore, it is understandable why local people only live 53.3 years on average.
A landlocked country in West Africa, Niger faces serious challenges due to its inhospitable desert terrain, poverty, high fertility rates and overpopulation without birth control. Apart from a very low life expectancy, Niger also has the sad primacy of the world’s highest infant mortality rate as there is not adequate nutrition for most of the poor country´s children.
Ivory Coast (53.02)
Another West African country, Ivory Coast has a relatively high income per capita but in terms of healthcare, it still has a lot to work on. There is an enormous lack of physicians in the country (only 12 physicians per 100,000 people) and more than a third of local women undergo female genital mutilation, an extremely painful practice as a result of which many girls and women die. Moreover, HIV/AIDS is also a significant problem.
Home to about 10.5 million people, Guinea is where the infamous 2014 Ebola epidemic originated. Apart from this virus, the country struggles to cope with several other deadly diseases such as HIV/AIDS and malaria. Degradation of care practices, limited access to medical services, inadequate hygiene practices and a lack of food diversity are also reasons why the Guineans only live 52.44 years on average.
The world’s second most populous landlocked country, Uganda has been suffering from frequent conflicts, including a lengthy civil war which has caused tens of thousands of casualties and displaced more than a million people. Uganda has achieved some partial successes in their fight against HIV/AIDS but death from pregnancy-related complications and very high infant mortality remain considerable problems in this East African country.