Life expectancy in Taiwan reached record 80.9 years in 2019: MOI

(CNA)

TAIPEI (CNA) — The average life expectancy in Taiwan hit a new high of 80.9 years in 2019, after a decade of steady increase, the Ministry of the Interior (MOI) said Wednesday.

Last year, the average life expectancy of men was 77.7 and that of women 84.2 years, both record high figures, the MOI said.

Over the past decade, the average life expectancy in Taiwan has been rising steadily, from 79 years in 2009 to 80.9 in 2019, mainly because of better healthcare, heightened awareness of food safety, an improved quality of life and the growing popularity of fitness programs, the ministry said.

The four municipalities with the highest average life expectancies in 2019 were all in northern Taiwan, with Taipei recording 83.86 years, New Taipei 81.52, Hsinchu City 81.43, and Taoyuan 81.09, while Taichung in central Taiwan was fifth with a life expectancy of 80.83, MOI data showed.

The eastern counties of Hualien and Taitung were at the bottom of the list, with average life expectancies of 77.06 and 76.33 years, respectively, according to the data.

The ministry said that in general, residents in the western parts of the country have a higher average life expectancy than those in the eastern areas, most likely because of lifestyle factors and better access to medical resources.

However, the gap between the eastern and western areas has narrowed over the past decade, the MOI said, adding that Taitung County saw the biggest spike in life expectancy in the country last year.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s crude death rate last year stood at 7.44 per 1,000 people, with the total number of deaths recorded at 175,546, according to MOI data.

That was an increase of 2,846 deaths from the previous year, when the crude death rate was 7.32 per 1,000 people, the data showed.

The standardized mortality ratio (SMR), which adjusts for the age structure of a population, was 408.2 per 100,000 people in 2019, a 1.6 percent decrease from the previous year, the MOI statistics showed.