Japan’s healthy life expectancy, during which people can live without health issues impeding their daily lives, stood at 72.68 years for men and 75.38 years for women in 2019, the health ministry said Monday.
The healthy life expectancy rose by 0.54 year for men and 0.59 year for women from the previous survey in 2016.
By prefecture, Oita was ranked top for healthy life expectancy for men, at 73.72 years. For women, Mie topped the list, at 77.58 years.
The 2019 results, the fourth since the triennial survey began in 2010, were based on data from some 688,000 people in the Comprehensive Survey of Living Conditions.
In 2019, the country’s average life expectancy stood at 81.41 years for men and 87.45 years for women.
The expected lifetime after a person’s healthy years were over was 8.73 years for men, 0.11 year shorter than 2016, and 12.06 years for women, 0.28 year shorter. The figures have been on the decline since the first survey in 2010.
The ministry said that the increase in healthy life expectancy can be attributed to an increase in the average life expectancy, a decrease in cerebrovascular and articular diseases, which lead to the need for nursing care, and increased social participation among the elderly.
By prefecture, Yamanashi had the second-longest healthy life expectancy for men, at 73.57 years, followed by Saitama, at 73.48 years. Iwate had the shortest, at 71.39 years.
For women, Yamanashi had the second-longest healthy life expectancy, at 76.74 years, followed by Miyazaki, at 76.71 years. Kyoto came last, at 73.68 years.
The gap between the healthy life expectancies in the highest- and lowest-ranking prefectures stood at 2.33 years for men, down from 2.79 years in the 2010 survey. For women, the gap stood at 3.90 years, up from 2.95 years.
The ministry aims to extend the country’s healthy life expectancy by three years from 2016 for both men and women by 2040.
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