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Life Expectancy

Canadian Megatrends for February 2016

Ottawa - For Life expectancy from 1920–1922 to 2009–2011 a variety of factors, including better health care, childhood vaccinations and health awareness campaigns with associated legislation, to name only a few, have helped boost Canadians' life expectancy by more than two decades since 1920–1922.

This month's Canadian Megatrends takes look at some of the reasons why Canadians are living longer than ever before.

The life expectancy for women born between 1920 and 1922 was 60.6 years, slightly higher than 58.8 years for men. By 2009–2011, the average lifespan of women at birth had reached 83.6 years, while that of men had increased to 79.3 years.

Those lower numbers in the 1920s were the result of several factors, many of which were related to the challenges facing both mothers and babies. Not only was the rate of mothers dying in childbirth higher, but about 1 in 10 children born in 1921 never lived to see his or her first birthday. By comparison, that rate was 1 in 200 in 2011.

Over the course of the 20th century, life expectancy at other ages also recorded gains, although these were smaller than the increase in life expectancy at birth.

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