Japan loses its lead in female longevity

TOKYO — Japanese women are no longer the world’s longest living, their longevity pushed down in part by last year’s devastating earthquake and tsunami, according to a government report Thursday. The top of the global life expectancy rankings now belongs to Hong Kong women.

The annual report by Japan’s health ministry said the expected lifespan for Japanese women slipped to 85.90 years in 2011 from 86.30 the year before, mainly due to disease and other natural causes of death. The life expectancy for men also declined slightly, from 79.55 to 79.44.

The report said that the earthquake and tsunami, which killed nearly 20,000 people, contributed to pushing the statistics down. It noted that if deaths related to the disaster were not included, the life expectancies would be higher for both men, at 79.70 years, and women, at 86.24.

But the official life expectancy for women in Hong Kong — 86.70 years in 2011 — would still be longer than Japan’s even without the disaster deaths, the report said.

It said suicides among Japanese women have been on the rise, and that was a contributing factor, although disease and other natural causes remained the most important issues.

Officials said it was the first time since 1985 that Japan’s women had ranked second.

The ministry’s report, which uses statistics supplied by other countries or the U.N. for its comparisons, noted that international statistics are hard to compare because of differences in calculation methods.

More in Local News

These little piggies stay home

Norman, who was spotted last week in Everett, is part of a trio kept as pets by the “pig whisperer.”

Cheering families welcome Kidd, Shoup after 6 months at sea

“I get back Daddy back today,” said one homemade sign at Naval Station Everett.

Stanwood man, 33, killed in crash near Marysville

Speed may have been a factor, the sheriff’s department said.

Street-legal ATVs approved for some roads near Sultan

Supporters foresee tourism benefits. Opponents are concerned about injury and pollution risks.

Jamie Copeland is a senior at Cedar Park Christian Schools’ Mountlake Terrace campus. She is a basketball player, ASB president, cheerleader and, of course, a Lion. (Dan Bates / The Herald)
Cedar Park Christian senior stepping up to new challenges

Jamie Copeland’s academics include STEM studies, leadership, ASB activities, honor society.

Woman, 47, found dead in Marysville jail cell

She’d been in custody about four days after being arrested on warrants, police said.

County plans to sue to recoup costs from ballot drop-box law

A quarter-million dollars could be spent adding 19 ballot boxes in rural areas.

Providence Hospital in Everett at sunset Monday night. Officials Providence St. Joseph Health Ascension Health reportedly are discussing a merger that would create a chain of hospitals, including Providence Regional Medical Center Everett, plus clinics and medical care centers in 26 states spanning both coasts. (Kevin Clark / The Daily Herald)
Merger would make Providence part of health care behemoth

Providence St. Joseph Health and Ascension Health are said to be talking. Swedish would also be affected.

5 teens in custody in drug-robbery shooting death

They range in age from 15 to 17. One allegedly fatally shot a 54-year-old mother, whose son was wounded.

Most Read