life-expectancy

The number of further years of life a person can expect at a given age. The measure is calculated from a life-table , and since it is expressed as an average for persons of that age and sex in a country, depends upon prevailing (current) levels of mortality at different ages within the population or sub-population to which the individual belongs. Since, in all societies, mortality rates between birth and the first birthday tend to be particularly high, life-expectancies at birth are usually considerably lower than life-expectancies at year one. As one would expect from variations in mortality rates between countries, life-expectancies also vary considerably, being around 30 to 40 years at birth in certain developing countries, and reaching 75 and over for women in the major Western industrialized societies. Life-expectancy at birth is a widely used indicator of health standards and social and economic living standards. It is also possible to derive life-expectancies for different sub-groups of populations, for example different social classes, providing mortality rates are known.

Dictionary of sociology. 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

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  • life expectancy — n. the statistically probable length of time that a typical individual can be expected to live …   English World dictionary

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  • life expectancy — UK / US noun [countable/uncountable] Word forms life expectancy : singular life expectancy plural life expectancies 1) the length of time that someone is likely to live 2) the length of time that something lasts or remains useful …   English dictionary

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