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17 January 2001
NEW UNITED NATIONS DEMOGRAPHIC YEARBOOK PUBLISHED
NEW YORK, 16 January (UN Headquarters) -- The latest edition of the annual United Nations Demographic Yearbook 1998, which contains the tables which summarize basic statistics on population trends, natality, mortality, nuptiality and divorce, has now been published.
Highlights from the 1998 Yearbook include:
-- In 18 regions, women's life expectancy now exceeds 80 years, up from 16 in 1997.
-- Life expectancy for men in 13 countries or areas around the world is now 75 years or more, up from 11 countries in 1997.
-- Infant mortality rates have fallen below 5 infant deaths per 1,000 live births in 12 countries or areas.
-- Declines in mortality were registered on every continent (measured by lower infant mortality and increased life expectancy).
-- Life expectancy in Africa now exceeds 50 years for men in 25 countries or areas and for women in 33 countries or areas. However, life expectancy in Africa is still lower than in other parts of the world. Only in Algeria, Cape Verde, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya, Mauritius, Réunion, and Tunisia can women have a expectation (at birth) that they will live to be 70 years or older. Men typically live to less than 50 years in 28 African countries, and women share the same low Life expectancy in the 20 countries or areas.
The Yearbook shows that life expectancy of more than 80 years for women is increasingly common in developed countries. According to the 1998 statistic, women can now have a life expectancy at birth of at least 80 years in 18 countries or areas,. Japanese have the longest life expectancy in the world, (83.8), followed by people from Hong Kong (82.2), France and Martinique (82.0), Switzerland (81.9), Spain (81.6), Sweden (81.5), Australia, Italy and Norway (81.0), Canada and Guadalupe (80.9), Austria, Belgium, Greece and Iceland (80.6), Finland (80.5) Cyprus and Macao (80.0).
Men are expected to live more than 75 years in 13 countries or areas of the world. Once again, Japan recorded the longest life expectancy for males (77.2), followed by Hong Kong (76.8), Sweden (76.5), Iceland (76.2), Israel (76.1), Switzerland (75.7), Martinique (75.5), Norway (75.4), Greece (75.3), Australia and Singapore (75.2) and Cyprus (75.0).
Among the 25 largest countries, the gap in life expectancy between women and men is largest in the Russian Federation (13.4 years), Ukraine (10.4 years) and France (7.8 years), and smallest in Iran (1.5 years), India (0.6 years) and Bangladesh (0.1).
The Yearbook also reports on infant mortality rates (the number of infant deaths under one year of age, per 1,000 live births). The 12 countries or areas with the lowest infant mortality rates are Iceland (2.6), Hong Kong (3.2),Japan (3.6), Sweden (3.7), Norway (4.0), Finland and Singapore (4.2), Switzerland (4.5), Germany (4.6), Denmark (4.7), France (4.8) and Austria (4.9).
The 25 most populous countries in 1998 contain about 75 per cent of the estimated world population. They are ranked below by size of population, together with the most recent available data on their fertility rates and life expectancies at birth.
Information in the Yearbook is compiled from data provided by national statistics offices around the world, and prepared by the Statistics Division of the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs.
The Demographic Yearbook 1998 (Sales No. E/F.00.XIII.1) may be ordered from the Sales Section, United Nations, New York or Geneva, or through major booksellers throughout the world. A reference copy may be consulted by accredited correspondents at the press documents counter at Headquarters.
The United Nations Statistics Division home page is www.un.org/depts/unsd.
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