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Life Expectancy

Definition

Life expectancy at birth is an estimate of how long, on average, people can expect to live. This average is based on patterns observed from the previous five-year period of study.

Why This Matters

Life expectancy at birth is one of the most commonly used indicators of overall health status. It reflects the mortality patterns of a population, and is often used for international comparisons. Life expectancy is related to such things as medical interventions (e.g., immunizations), good nutrition, hygiene and safe drinking water.

Measurement and Limitations

Life expectancy measures the number of years a newborn would be expected to live, assuming mortality patterns remain the same throughout its life. Life expectancy is an average – a specific person may die significantly before or after their life expectancy.

The Manitoba Centre for Health Policy (MCHP) tracks life expectancy in our province. They report that “even small differences in life expectancy imply important differences in health status” (MCHP, 2013).

Data are available for three five-year periods: 2002-2006, 2007-2011 and 2012-2016  (MCHP 2009, MCHP 2013, WRHA 2019). It should be noted that rates are not sex- and age-adjusted. Some variation can be attributed to differences in age or sex composition of the populations.

Data Source

Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. (2019). Winnipeg Health Region Community Health Assessment 2019. Retrieved from https://wrha.mb.ca/files/cha-2019-full-report.pdf

Data is updated on Peg as it becomes available from the data providers.

References

Manitoba Centre for Health Policy. (2009). Manitoba RHA indicators atlas 2009. Retrieved from http://mchp-appserv.cpe.umanitoba.ca/reference/RHA_Atlas_Report.pdf

Manitoba Centre for Health Policy. (2013). Manitoba RHA indicators atlas 2013. Retrieved from http://mchp-appserv.cpe.umanitoba.ca/reference//RHA_2013_web_version.pdf

Winnipeg Regional Health Authority. (2019). Winnipeg Health Region Community Health Assessment 2019. Retrieved from https://wrha.mb.ca/files/cha-2019-full-report.pdf

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Life Expectancy in the Sustainable Development Goals

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3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages
3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

3. Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages

Ensuring healthy lives and promoting the well-being for all at all ages is essential to sustainable development. Significant strides have been made in increasing life expectancy and reducing some of the common killers associated with child and maternal mortality. Major progress has been made on increasing access to clean water and sanitation, reducing malaria, tuberculosis, polio and the spread of HIV/AIDS. However, many more efforts are needed to fully eradicate a wide range of diseases and address many different persistent and emerging health issues.

Related Life Expectancy Targets

3.4

By 2030, reduce by one third premature mortality from non-communicable diseases through prevention and treatment and promote mental health and well-being