Life expectancy has risen in the past two decades by over nine years. Both wealthy and impoverished nations have managed to raise their citizens’ lifespans. In the wealthier countries, less people are dying from heart diseases by the age of 60. According to the U.N.’s World Health Organization annual statistics, six countries’ babies are healthier, with less dying before the age of 5, explained Margaret Chan, World Health Organization chief, in a statement.

The six poorest countries managed to raise life expectancy by over 10 years between 1990 and 2012. Liberia’s lifespans increased the most by 20 years (42 to 62).

The next few countries that were able to significantly raise their lifespans are Ethiopia (from 45 to 64 years), Maldives (58 to 77), Cambodia (54 to 72), East Timor (50 to 66) and Rwanda (48 to 65).

According to the WHO, a girl who was born in 2012 will most likely live to be approximately 73-years old and a boy up to 68-years old.

More people are starting to live longer because of an increase in food supplies, better nutrition, improvements in medical supplies and technology (immunizations and antibiotics), improved sanitation and hygiene and safer water supplies.

Although the life spans in Africa are the lowest, they have still made a significant increase by about 10 percent . Malaria deaths have decreased by 30 percent and HIV infections have also decreased by 74 percent.

A great contribution to the increasing lifespans is the larger income Africans are making, which has increased by 30 percent.

One of the poorest countries in the world, Mozambique, has made huge improvement due to the discoveries of coal and gas.

Today, this is proof that people are able to make a change in others’ lives — the ones who need it the most. Although the poorest countries still have the shortest lifespans, they have definitely increased. Over the next few decades, one could expect even more growth.

 —  Priscilla Rodarte

Sources: ENCA, SF Gate, Geography, The Independent