Japanese women retake top spot for life expectancy
TOKYO (AFP) - Japan's women retook their place as the world's longest-lived last year, edging out Hong Kongers as their life expectancy bounced back from the dip caused by the 2011 tsunami, officials said on Thursday.
Health ministry data showed girls born in Japan in 2012 could expect on average to live to 86.41, up from 85.90 in 2011 when the average was dragged lower when thousands of lives were cut short by the natural disaster.
"Death rates rose in 2011 due to the disaster but the life expectancy picked up again with that factor coming off," a health ministry official said.
The Japanese are renowned for their longevity, attributed in part to a healthy diet, active lifestyle and good medical system.