Understanding Healthy Life Expectancy

How Long Will You Live in 'Full Health'?

Newborn baby laying on blanket
Newborn baby laying on blanket. Getty Images/PBNJ Productions/Blend Images

Healthy Life Expectancy is the average number of years that a newborn can expect to live in "full health"—in other words, not hampered by disabling illnesses or injuries. Medical experts often refer to this as "HALES" (pronounced haleys),  or "health-adjusted life expectancy."

Statisticians and demographers calculate Healthy Life Expectancy by adjusting total life expectancy for the amount of time spent in poor health.

The World Health Organization (WHO) uses this measure for countries worldwide.

How Is Healthy Life Expectancy Calculated?

This is a bit complicated and uses lots of different data sources for each country. In a nutshell, the World Health Organization takes a country's data like mortality rates and health status information and crunches them to look at things like how long people are expected to live with about 135 health conditions.

The calculation looks at the mortality rate for different health conditions and adjusts it for the duration or severity of the illnesses. Since each country doesn't have the same data available, the WHO substitutes and adjusts as necessary.

Why Use HALES?

HALES try to measure a country's effectiveness in reducing the burden of illness. Sometimes, an illness can be shortened or the suffering reduced, but the death rate from that illness doesn’t change. In that case, though, the healthy life expectancy would be longer, which would be a benefit.

Remember that WHO and various government entities are using this method to calculate healthy life expectancy for everyone in a particular population. It can provide you with some hints about how long you will live, but it won't give you definitive answers—they haven't yet developed a tool to do that accurately.

HALES

The numbers below are HALES for different countries as of 2015. The figures represent an estimate of the number of years a newborn today will live in full health in each of the countries. Next to that is the HALES of those who are now at age 60, having avoided disease and injury.

Country

Male
HALES at birth

Male
HALES at age 60

Female
HALES at birth

Female
HALES at age 60

Afghanistan

51.4

70.8

53.3

71.9

Albania

66.8

75.4

71.0

78.5

Algeria

65.4

76.5

67.2

77.0

Angola

44.8

71.2

47.0

72.1

Antigua and Barbuda

66.0

75.5

68.4

77.5

Argentina

65.0

74.8

70.2

78.5

Armenia

64.6

74.2

68.9

76.9

Australia

70.8

78.6

72.9

80.5

Austria

70.4

77.7

73.5

80.4

Azerbaijan

62.8

73.4

66.7

76.0

Bahamas

64.8

75.9

68.4

78.0

Bahrain

66.9

74.8

67.0

75.0

Bangladesh

61.9

73.8

62.9

74.3

Barbados

65.5

74.3

68.0

76.6

Belarus

60.7

72.5

69.6

77.7

Belgium

69.4

77.2

72.8

79.9

Belize

60.8

72.5

63.8

73.9

Benin

52.3

71.4

52.8

72.1

Bhutan

61.4

75.3

61.0

75.0

Bolivia

61.1

76.1

64.0

77.4

Bosnia and Herzegovina

66.7

74.7

70.6

77.3

Botswana

55.4

72.1

58.5

73.4

Brazil

63.1

75.0

67.8

77.3

Brunei Darussalam

69.4

76.8

71.2

78.3

Bulgaria

63.8

73.7

69.2

77.1

Burkina Faso

52.4

71.1

52.7

71.8

Burundi

50.6

71.6

53.9

72.8

Cote d'Ivoire

46.5

70.7

47.6

71.1

Cabo Verde

63.3

73.3

65.0

74.8

Cambodia

55.9

69.3

60.0

71.4

Cameroon

49.5

72.0

51.2

72.8

Canada

71.3

78.6

73.3

80.6

Central African Republic

44.7

71.3

47.1

72.4

Chad

45.2

70.8

47.1

71.6

Chile

68.5

77.2

72.3

80.0

China

67.7

75.1

69.5

76.7

Colombia

62.8

75.4

67.6

77.2

Comoros

54.7

71.5

57.1

72.8

Congo

55.8

73.3

57.5

74.1

Costa Rica

68.4

77.9

71.2

79.4

Croatia

67.0

75.1

71.8

78.6

Cuba

68.2

76.6

70.3

78.3

Cyprus

70.0

76.6

72.6

79.0

Czechia

67.1

75.2

71.7

78.4

Democratic Republic of the Congo

50.6

72.0

53.0

72.9

Denmark

70.0

77.3

72.3

79.2

Djibouti

54.6

72.7

57.0

73.6

Dominican Republic

63.2

75.9

67.0

77.7

Ecuador

65.3

76.7

68.7

78.2

Egypt

61.2

72.4

63.2

73.2

El Salvador

60.6

75.2

67.3

77.2

Equatorial Guinea

50.2

72.3

52.5

73.2

Eritrea

54.0

69.7

57.4

72.1

Estonia

65.6

75.1

72.0

79.5

Ethiopia

54.6

72.0

57.7

73.2

Fiji

60.8

72.4

65.1

74.9

Finland

69.1

77.1

72.9

79.8

France

70.7

78.7

74.4

81.7

Gabon

56.5

73.2

58.0

74.2

Gambia

53.3

71.3

54.5

72.0

Georgia

63.4

73.6

69.3

77.0

Germany

69.7

77.2

72.8

79.9

Ghana

54.7

72.0

56.0

72.6

Greece

70.2

77.7

73.6

80.4

Grenada

63.6

73.8

66.5

75.4

Guatemala

59.4

74.2

64.9

76.1

Guinea

51.5

72.2

51.9

72.6

Guinea-Bissau

50.4

70.7

52.7

71.6

Guyana

57.7

72.4

60.4

72.9

Haiti

54.1

72.7

56.7

73.5

Honduras

63.7

75.9

66.3

77.3

Hungary

64.8

73.9

69.9

77.4

Iceland

71.8

78.6

73.6

80.0

India

58.8

72.8

60.4

73.7

Indonesia

60.7

72.2

63.7

74.1

Iran

66.4

75.4

66.7

75.0

Iraq

58.1

72.5

62.1

74.2

Ireland

70.3

77.8

72.7

79.9

Israel

71.6

78.6

73.9

80.4

Italy

71.8

78.7

73.7

80.9

Jamaica

65.9

76.7

68.1

78.0

Japan

72.5

78.9

77.2

83.1

Jordan

64.3

74.1

65.9

75.5

Kazakhstan

59.8

72.2

66.8

75.9

Kenya

53.9

72.3

57.4

73.2

Kiribati

56.7

71.6

60.6

73.5

Kuwait

65.1

73.5

66.6

74.1

Kyrgyzstan

61.0

72.8

66.9

76.2

Laos

56.7

71.8

59.1

73.0

Latvia

63.2

73.8

70.7

78.4

Lebanon

64.9

73.6

66.7

75.3

Lesotho

45.2

70.9

47.9

72.3

Liberia

51.7

70.7

53.7

71.7

Libya

62.3

73.1

65.3

74.7

Lithuania

62.0

72.8

70.2

78.2

Luxembourg

70.4

77.5

73.1

80.1

Madagascar

55.7

72.0

58.1

73.1

Malawi

50.2

71.0

52.3

72.2

Malaysia

64.8

74.3

68.3

75.7

Maldives

68.5

75.7

70.7

77.2

Mali

51.6

71.9

50.7

71.8

Malta

70.6

78.0

72.8

79.7

Mauritania

54.4

71.7

55.9

72.5

Mauritius

64.4

74.8

69.3

77.6

Mexico

65.7

76.4

69.1

77.7

Micronesia

61.7

73.3

63.2

74.2

Mongolia

58.8

72.4

65.7

75.2

Montenegro

66.5

74.6

69.4

76.7

Morocco

64.7

74.6

65.6

75.1

Mozambique

48.3

71.5

50.8

72.4

Myanmar

57.7

71.8

60.5

73.2

Namibia

55.6

72.2

59.2

73.9

Nepal

60.1

72.6

62.3

74.0

Netherlands

71.2

78.0

73.2

80.4

New Zealand

70.7

78.6

72.4

80.1

Nicaragua

60.4

72.9

67.1

76.9

Niger

53.9

71.6

54.6

72.2

Nigeria

46.9

70.3

48.5

70.8

North Korea

61.3

71.6

66.6

75.9

Norway

70.6

77.8

73.4

80.2

Oman

65.8

74.8

67.8

76.2

Pakistan

57.5

73.0

58.1

73.1

Panama

66.1

77.4

70.2

79.4

Papua New Guinea

54.8

70.5

58.1

72.7

Paraguay

64.2

75.6

66.3

77.0

Peru

63.9

74.8

67.5

77.2

Philippines

58.6

72.0

63.9

74.5

Poland

65.7

75.0

71.6

78.7

Portugal

69.5

77.4

73.2

80.3

Qatar

67.5

75.7

68.4

76.0

Republic of Korea

70.8

77.9

75.3

81.7

Republic of Moldova

61.9

72.8

67.8

76.3

Romania

64.0

74.2

69.7

77.4

Russian Federation

59.0

72.5

67.8

77.1

Rwanda

52.3

71.5

60.8

74.3

Saint Lucia

64.7

75.0

67.6

77.5

Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

63.7

74.8

65.6

75.9

Samoa

64.4

73.5

69.0

77.2

Sao Tome and Principe

57.9

73.1

60.1

74.2

Saudi Arabia

64.0

73.3

64.7

74.2

Senegal

57.2

72.0

59.4

73.1

Serbia

65.7

74.4

69.6

77.0

Seychelles

62.4

73.2

69.2

77.4

Sierra Leone

43.9

69.7

44.8

69.9

Singapore

71.8

78.2

75.9

82.0

Slovakia

65.3

74.2

70.9

77.9

Slovenia

68.8

76.5

73.3

79.7

Solomon Islands

61.5

72.9

62.9

73.9

Somalia

46.6

71.1

48.9

71.9

South Africa

51.9

70.2

56.8

73.8

South Sudan

49.0

71.8

50.8

72.5

Spain

70.6

77.8

74.1

80.9

Sri Lanka

64.2

75.3

69.7

77.3

Sudan

54.9

72.8

56.9

73.5

Suriname

61.4

73.7

64.9

75.7

Swaziland

49.2

71.1

52.5

72.7

Sweden

71.1

78.2

73.0

80.0

Switzerland

71.7

78.7

74.3

81.0

Syrian Arab Republic

52.6

72.2

59.7

73.9

Tajikistan

59.7

72.9

65.0

76.3

Thailand

64.8

75.2

68.9

77.8

Macedonia

65.9

73.9

69.1

76.1

Tanzania

52.9

71.8

55.5

72.7

Timor-Leste

59.4

72.6

62.8

74.1

Togo

52.3

71.6

53.3

72.1

Tonga

64.2

73.2

67.9

76.7

Trinidad and Tobago

61.2

72.8

65.5

75.6

Tunisia

65.3

74.3

68.2

76.5

Turkey

64.5

74.7

67.8

77.0

Turkmenistan

56.6

71.8

63.0

74.9

Uganda

53.0

72.4

55.0

72.8

Ukraine

60.2

72.7

67.8

76.6

United Arab Emirates

68.0

75.6

68.8

76.1

United Kingdom

70.3

77.8

72.5

79.6

United States of America

67.7

77.0

70.4

79.1

Uruguay

65.4

74.9

70.3

78.8

Uzbekistan

59.9

73.5

65.0

76.2

Vanuatu

63.4

73.7

66.0

75.4

Venezuela

62.3

75.0

68.2

77.5

Viet Nam

63.2

74.7

69.9

78.4

Yemen

57.1

71.8

58.4

72.5

Zambia

51.6

72.6

55.9

73.9

Zimbabwe

50.9

72.0

53.4

73.2

A Word From Verywell

Where you live can have an impact on your life expectancy due to the prevalence of disease, war, crime, and living conditions. But there are also simple steps you can take to increase your life expectancy. You may also choose to work to reduce the burden of preventable disease around the world.

Sources:

Health Status Statistics: Mortality. World Health Organization. http://www.who.int/healthinfo/statistics/indhale/en/.

Life Expectancy Data by Country. World Health Organization. http://apps.who.int/gho/data/node.main.HALE?lang=en.

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