[Korea Quiz (14)] life expectancy
Published : Aug 3, 2022 - 13:40
Updated : Aug 3, 2022 - 13:40
Test your knowledge of Korea with our weekly quiz on the language, culture, history or anything K-related. -- Ed. 


Girls born in Korea in 2020 are expected to live 86.5 years, six years longer than boys.

The latest available data puts the average life expectancy at 83.5 years for both sexes in Korea, second only after Japan among members of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Japan’s figure is 84.7 years, while the OECD average stands at 80.5 years.

Despite being in the grips of the COVID-19 pandemic, (South Korea was one of the earliest countries to report a massive coronavirus outbreak outside China in 2020), the country saw the figure grow by 2.4 months from 2019. The OECD average went down by six months over the same period.

A longer lifespan is a key indicator of a country’s public health and its medical system. In South Korea, it has been on a steady rise over the past decades.

Boys born in 1970, the year that data began to be compiled, were expected to live till just 58.7 years, with girls expected to live for 65.8 years. This means that in just a little over 50 years, the expected lifespan increased by more than 20 years for Korean men and women.

A look at the Health Ministry data may offer clues to understanding how such a drastic improvement was possible.

S. Korea outperforms many other OECD member countries in access to public health care. The country has 12.7 hospital beds per 1,000 people, compared to 2.8 in the United States, 5.7 in France and 7.8 in Germany. The OECD average is 4.3.

In 2020, again, despite the virus fears, South Koreans made an average of 14.7 outpatient visits to hospitals, compared to 5.9 of all OECD members.

Korea came out around average for smoking and alcohol consumption, although individual figures continued a declining trend going back a decade.


Answer: d

By Korea Herald (khnews@heraldcorp.com)
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