Life Expectancy as a Vital Mortality Indicator: Global Measurement Standards

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Every country measures life expectancy as an index to express the average of years for a person to live in the scale of mortality indicator of a certain period (OECD, 2007). This index is usually affected by particular conditions such as health, education and specific factors of the country or territory. These characteristics have become this index one of the most important signs to quantity human development all over the globe. Although the modern world has brought an increasing of longevity, it is not necessarily associated with a better life quality, the inequalities between rich and poor societies seem to build an enormous gap in the quality of life, which contributes as well to the age of a person.

This essay will discuss two reasons that affect the indicator in developing countries and the possible solutions. Health conditions are usually a vital contributing factor of liveability.

The World Health Organization (1948) defines health as “a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity”.

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In this context, we could say that prevention of diseases lead to a healthy population thus a higher life expectancy. But transferring this into the developing nations’ context the imminent differences are immersed the lack of the quality in health care system, because “outside the rich countries, average health is strongly correlated with income” (Cutler, 2006). Even though in least-developed countries the reason of mortality and life expectancy are easy to identify, in the case of developing economies the distribution of resources and social inequalities appear to be the main motives.

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In the case of Mexico there were 70,281 deaths in 2013 due to diabetes type 2 (International Diabetes Federation, 2013), many of these deaths because of bad diet habits and restricted access to health care services.

The access to quality health services could make a difference for nations’ life projection. Governments may invest a significant part of the budget in providing health care conditions to the society. Campaigns against increasing diseases can be another option, as illnesses like obesity is gaining territory in developing countries. For example, Mexico is now the most obese country in the world (WHO, 2013) for the high calories content in the food, and that will affect the life expectancy of the current and the future generations. Level of education is another crucial factor of life expectancy. Schooling is directly correlated with salary levels, and that leads to better access to health services, improvement of productivity and well-being (Rahman, 2012). Knowledge is not only important for creating as well as maintaining a career, but is also a factor in sustaining a healthy body and preventing diseases. One of the most important outputs is that most educated people exercise moderately.

In other words, the expenditure of education is an investment that has implication not just in the improvement of income level of individuals, but in the living conditions of population. Education would also improve the quality of labour force that plays a major role in the modern economic growth process. “The cultivation of intelligence through education, what economists call ‘human capital,’ does not make people only more productive but also better decision makers. Hence, education should be considered a factor that enhances well-being” (Papavlassopulos and Keppler, 2011). It is necessary to highlight the importance of management and financing for schools personnel and the training of new teachers, this way societies could have a well prepared population that can be able to take decisions that affect their lives in a positive way.

For example, qualified people may look for a better job and improve life quality with the only result of having a good quality of life thus a higher life expectancy. In conclusion, in recent years the integration of life expectancy rank to determine not just human development rates but to introduce it to ascertain models and economic evaluations. Life expectancy summarises in one statistic number the structure of a society. There are some social and economic relevant factors that affect life expectancy in general, and in the case of developing countries the index is lower than the global average. All developing economies should concentrate the effort in increasing the investment in education and health care services to enhance economic well-being and with this, to improve the life expectancy index of population.

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Life Expectancy as a Vital Mortality Indicator: Global Measurement Standards. (2016, Mar 27). Retrieved from

Life Expectancy as a Vital Mortality Indicator: Global Measurement Standards
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