Honduras is a Central American country with a population of nearly 10 million people. Though the country has faced extreme poverty and disease, there have been significant signs of improvement in the country’s overall quality of life. These 10 facts about life expectancy in Honduras detail the improvements the country has made throughout its history.
10 Facts About Life Expectancy in Honduras
- Life expectancy is increasing. The life expectancy in Honduras has increased by almost a decade in the past 30 years. According to the 2019 Human Development Report from the United Nations Development Programme, the life expectancy at birth in 1990 was 66.7 years and rose to 75.1 years by 2018.
- Some of the top causes of premature death in Honduras are significantly lower than the average global comparison. The rate of deaths due to diarrheal diseases is 584.4 per 100,000, while the global average is more than 1,000. Similarly, the rate of deaths from stroke is less than 1,000 per 100,000, while the average is more than 1,800. Finally, the rate of deaths due to lower respiratory infections is 388.7 per 100,000, while the average is almost 2,000.
- The average years of schooling in Honduras has increased by more than three years since 1990. In 1990, the average years of schooling were only three and a half. In 2018, the average was more than six and a half. An increase in education often leads to higher-paying job opportunities, and therefore, access to better health care. Since 1957, the government of Honduras has had free primary school, which has led to a literacy rate of 83 percent.
- According to the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC), Honduras has a low public investment in health per capita. The country currently ranks second in Central America and fourth in Latin America. The Latin American and Caribbean average is about $392 per person, while Honduras lies at about $101 per person.
- The mortality rates of both infants and children under 5 have both declined in the last 30 years. In 1990, the mortality rate in children under 5 was 53.4 per 1,000 live births. In 2017, the rate was just 14.6. For children under the age of 1, the mortality rate was 41.3 per 1,000 live births in 1990, which decreased to 11.6 in 2017.
- Some of the leading causes of premature death in Honduras include heart disease (41.6 percent), stroke (38.7 percent), violence (15 percent), road injury (16.4 percent), respiratory infections (2.5 percent) and other diseases. However, the World Bank approved the Country Partnership Framework for the country in 2015, which objectives include increasing access to finances, improving farming productivity and improving local governments to prevent violence and crime. The World Bank’s portfolio of the country is $259 million.
- The Honduras Social Security Institute (IHSS) has plans to expand its health facilities. The IHSS currently provides the public health system for about 37.1 percent of the working population. The institute currently has two public specialty hospitals and 10 outpatient facilities.
- In 2017, the World Bank reported that there were 0.314 physicians per 1,000 people in Honduras. Comparatively, Guatemala reported 0.355 physicians per 1,000 people.
- In 2015, the National Congress approved the Framework Law on Social Protection. This is the first time in Honduras that there was ever a law to define the national health care system. The multi-pillar law aims to extend health insurance, unemployment insurance and workmanship compensation to the working population, as well as Hondurans living in poverty.
- The Human Development Index (HDI), which measures the quality of life, health and wellbeing in Honduras, has increased from 0.508 to 0.623 from 1990 to 2018. To compare, Guatemala had a rating of 0.651, El Salvador a 0.667 rating and Haiti a 0.503 rating.
Although Honduras still needs to make progress in health care and safe water access, it has made a lot of improvements for its citizens in recent years. Honduras should be able to continue ensuring a long, healthy life for its citizens by continuing its improvements.
– Alyson Kaufman