Hong Kong’s population no longer has the longest life expectancy in the world, according to new data released by the territory’s Census and Statistics Department earlier this week for the year 2022. Hong Kong’s women are now expected to live to 86.8 years on average, and their male counterparts for 80.7 years. The data shows that Japanese women now are expected to live to 87.1 years, and men for 81.1 years. The government has not yet released figures for 2023.
The report states that data for 2022 “should be interpreted with care, as the figures are affected by exceptionally high mortality rates in 2022 during the COVID-19 epidemic”. During the fifth wave of the pandemic in Hong Kong in late 2021 and early 2022, 9,291 deaths were recorded with Covid-19, in a city with a population of about 7.4 million people by the end of 2021 — the highest Covid death rate in the world at the time.
While Japanese women are now expected to live longer than their counterparts in Hong Kong, men in Sweden (81.3 years), Japan (81.1 years), and Norway (80.9 years) have longer life expectancies than males in the SAR. Singapore’s provisional figures show that the city state’s life expectancy for women is 85.2 years, and 80.7 years for men.
Hong Kong has dominated global longevity rankings since the early 2000s. However, there are factors apart from Covid-19 that have contributed to the city’s recent decreased life expectancy rates. A recent survey by Cigna Healthcare found that 87% of Hongkongers surveyed experience stress, while 96% reported at least one burnout symptom — leading to the lowest average vitality score in the Asia-Pacific region.
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