New Delhi: Life expectancy in India has seen a sharp increase, increasing by 5.8 years from 2000 to 2015, says the World Health Statistics report, released by the World Health Organization (WHO) on Thursday.

However, deaths due to unsafe water and sanitation are higher in India than in any other country in the Asia-Pacific region. Air pollution too is a concern for the country as it is at the root of many non-communicable diseases.

For Indian men, life expectancy increased from 61.7 years in 2000 to 66.9 years in 2015. For women, the increase was from 63.4 to 69.9 years for the same period. Overall, for both sexes the average increase was from 62.5 to 68.3 years.

“Since 2000, life expectancy has increased, and increased more rapidly in developing countries as compared to developed ones, which has closed the gap in life expectancy between the two. Generally, developing countries are going through the epidemiological transition, where an increasing burden of disease is attributable to non-communicable diseases," said Dan Hogan, statistician, department of information, evidence and research, WHO.

WHO’s annual report focuses on sustainable development goals (SDG) for analysing countries’ health indicators. Health is centrally positioned within the 2030 agenda, with one comprehensive goal (SDG 3) and its 13 targets covering all major health priorities. Health-related goals are also found within other SDG targets.

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