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Top African Countries with the Shortest Life Expectancy


Human life expectancy has witnessed remarkable progress over the past century, yet significant disparities persist.

Regrettably, several African nations find themselves at the lower end of the spectrum in terms of life expectancy.

Understanding Life Expectancy

Life expectancy is a crucial metric that indicates the average lifespan of individuals within a specific population.

While global life expectancy has shown a notable increase, there remains a substantial gap in average life expectancies between countries.

Various factors influence life expectancy, including socioeconomic status, access to healthcare, gender, and geographical location.

Impact of Healthcare Expenditure

The World Bank suggests that countries investing more in healthcare tend to have higher life expectancy rates. To address these disparities, many nations have prioritized primary healthcare services, such as immunization, sanitation, access to clean water, and maternal health programs.

Global Trends and Challenges

According to World Bank data, the average global life expectancy at birth was 71 years in 2021.

However, global life expectancy experienced a decline for the second consecutive year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, reversing decades of progress.

Regional Disparities in Life Expectancy

Countries with the highest life expectancies are predominantly located in Asia and Europe, with Japan, Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and South Korea leading the charts at 84 years.

Variation in African Life Expectancy

In Africa, life expectancy varies significantly due to factors such as healthcare access, economic development, and disease prevalence.

Life Expectancy in Africa: Top 10 Countries with the Longest Lifespans

Top 10 African Countries with the Lowest Life Expectancy according to World Bank

  1. Chad – 52.5 years
  2. Nigeria – 52.7 years
  3. Central African Republic – 53.9 years
  4. South Sudan – 55.0 years
  5. Somalia – 55.3 years
  6. Eswatini – 57.1 years
  7. Mali – 58.9 years
  8. Guinea – 58.9 years
  9. Congo, Dem Rep – 59.2 years
  10. Mozambique – 59.3 years

These figures highlight the urgent need for improved healthcare infrastructure, access to quality healthcare services, and socio-economic development in these nations to enhance life expectancy and overall well-being.


The disparities in life expectancy across African countries underscore the importance of addressing healthcare inequalities and promoting holistic development strategies.

By focusing on improving healthcare access and infrastructure, these nations can work towards ensuring a healthier and more prosperous future for their citizens.


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