Hong Kong No Longer Has the World’s Longest Life Expectancy

Hong Kong residents no longer have the world’s longest life expectancies, with the city relinquishing its crown to Japan as Covid and overall stress weighs on local lifespans. 

Women in Hong Kong were expected to live until 86.8 years old on average in 2022, compared with 87.1 for their Japanese counterparts, according to the latest statistics published this week by the city’s government. Data for 2023 has not yet been released.

Life expectancy for men in the Asian financial hub was 80.7—the same as in Singapore, but shorter than Sweden, Japan and Norway, the data show.

Read More: China Unveils Extensive ‘Silver Economy’ Plan to Adapt to Aging Population

For years, Hong Kong consistently topped global longevity surveys—ever since overtaking Japan in the early 2000s. But residents are growing increasingly stressed out, with physical and mental health deteriorating in recent years amid social unrest and the pandemic.

In a recent survey from insurance provider Cigna Group, Hong Kong residents reported the lowest levels of physical, mental, social and occupational wellbeing among 12 markets including the U.S., U.K., mainland China and Singapore. Top stressors in the city included its high cost of living and uncertainty about the future.

The city’s death rate from Covid was at one point the highest in the world. The elderly were particularly hit by the coronavirus, partly due to higher-density living situations and lower vaccination rates.

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