Have you ever wondered how long you’ll live?
Well, a recent study by Khazanah Research Institute (KRI) titled “Social Inequalities and Health in Malaysia” has found that the life expectancy in Malaysia has made significant improvements in the last three decades.
The study found that male babies born in 2020 are expected to live to 72.8 years and female babies to 77.6 years, an 11- and 12-year increase from the expected 61.6 years and 65.6 years in 1970, respectfully.
However, despite these improvements, the rise in life expectancy has seemed to plateau in recent years especially for men, as the rise in life expectancies over the last few decades continues to slow down.
Women are expected to live longer than men
The gap between female and male life expectancies in Malaysia has shown to be gradually widening over the years. As aforementioned, women are expected to live up to 5 years longer than men, compared to the 4-year gap in 1970.
In the last 9 years, life expectancy for men has only grown by 0.5 years while women’s life expectancy has grown by 0.8 years.
Sabah life expectancy drops while other states continue to rise
While research has found that life expectancy has risen in all Malaysian states from 2001 to 2019, Sabah seems to be the only exception. Data found by KRI shows Sabah’s life expectancy dropping from 75 years to 73 years for men and 77 years to 75 years for women, a total 2-year decrease from 2010 to 2020.
Data also shows that among all states, KL has the highest life expectancy for women, sitting at 79.4 years, followed by Penang (78.9 years) and Sarawak (78.4 years). While Sarawak leads with their male life expectancy at 74.6 years, with KL (74.5 years) and Selangor (73.8 years) not far behind either.
Despite higher life expectancy, Malaysia still falls short
In 2017, it was found that the observed life expectancy in Malaysia did not reach the expected life expectancy set based on our developmental levels that year. While Malaysians were expected to live for 75.7 years, our observed life expectancy fell short by 1 year, sitting at 74.7 years instead.
Malaysia’s observed and expected life expectancy is also significantly lower than those of other countries, including Singapore, Japan, South Korea and more.
Even countries like Vietnam, where their expected life expectancy was significantly lower than Malaysia’s, sitting at 71.1 years, fared similarly when it came down to their observed life expectancy in 2017 (with only a 0.2-year difference separating the two).
Well, what do you think of these statistics? Do you believe you’ll live until the life expectancy set by this study?