IN THE LAST 25 YEARS, GLOBAL LIFE EXPECTANCY HAS INCREASED BY SIX YEARS. Gautam Naik reported in the Wall Street Journal (December 18) on one of the most important stories of the year. A report funded by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (the Global Burden of Disease Study) and published in the Lancet showed that from 1990 to 2013, average global life expectancy increased by about six years. The finding is confirmed by a similar study that the World Health Organization has done which also found that the average global life expectancy has risen by six years since 1990.
I posted here that “When I was a graduate student some fifty years ago, we were deeply interested in ‘development economics’, and the alleviation of poverty in what were then called “underdeveloped countries”. For a long time it seemed that economic development was disappointing.”
Although a longer life is not included in economic growth statistics and is rarely discussed in connection with national income, the additional six years seems to me to be a remarkable achievement.