Men and women in Hong Kong have been ranked as having the longest average life expectancy in the world for the third consecutive year, according to the Japanese Ministry of Health.
The average age for women in Hong Kong is 87.66 years and for men, the age is 81.7 years. Japanese women rank second, with an average age of 87.26 years. They had been at the top of the list from 1985 to 2010, but in 2011 they lost the title because of a tsunami in Japan that year. Although Japanese women regained top ranking in 2012, the women of Hong Kong have surpassed them since 2015.
For Japanese men, the average age is 81.09 years. This is 0.11 years longer than their average age in 2016. but is not only shorter than that of Hong Kong men but also of Swiss men (81.5 years), ranking them as third in the world.
Reasons for the longevity of Hong Kongers include well-used city parks, quality hospitals accessible to all, restaurants filled with locally caught fresh fish, and the presence of mountains for hiking and beaches for swimming or surfing. The dense population minimizes the usage of cars. People make use of the cheap and convenient public transportation, and they walk to work or to go shopping.
Other reasons for their longevity may include the fact that Hong Kong is geographically good for living, with a subtropical climate that is neither too hot nor too cold. Many elderly residents like to practice Tai Chi in the morning on a daily basis. This traditional Chinese practice has proven to be beneficial for seniors by enhancing mental capacity and concentration, reducing stress, etc. In addition, the close familial networks of Asian cultures, in general, are common in Hong Kong, providing both financial and social support as people get older. This is important both physically and psychologically for the senior residents.
The Japanese Ministry of Health also calculated the average age of healthy aging people who did not need special care and could live an independent life. The average age was 74.79 years for Japanese women and 72.14 years for Japanese men. The Ministry considered it an issue worthy of attention to shortening the difference between the average length of life and the average length of healthy life.
The report also revealed that the average life expectancy was 73.64 years for Chinese men and 79.43 years for Chinese women in 2015. In comparison, the Ministry of Internal Affairs of Taiwan reported an average life expectancy for Taiwanese of 76.8 years for men and 83.4 years for women.