Life Expectancy

Life expectancy is often used as a measure of a nation’s physical quality of life. Moreover, I have often heard it used in discussing the effectiveness of different types of healthcare systems.

It’s a nice clean number but we have to remember that it’s an average with a very specific property that if you survive your first year of life, your life expectancy increases significantly.

How significantly is a matter of whether you live in a developed or developing nation. The more defining statistic is the infant mortality rate. This is the tide in “a rising tide lifts all boats”. This is the number which we have to focus on when we consider the “threats” our country faces.

The United States is 33rd or 46th on that list (depending which report you believe) with 6.3 of every 1000 infants dying. Sierra Leone and Afghanistan is at the bottom with 1 of 4 children not reaching age 5.

If America could be #1 at anything, this is what I would choose.

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