Life expectancy in Zhejiang on par with advanced nations
A residential community in Tonglu county, Zhejiang province, provides a discount canteen for seniors. [Photo/zj.zjol.com.cn]
Over the past two months, all 11 cities at or above prefecture level in East China's Zhejiang province have held their annual "two sessions", meetings of lawmakers and political advisors, in which municipal government work reports were reviewed and approved.
Nine cities released in the reports the life expectancy of local residents: at the end of 2020, the life expectancy of people in registered households was 82.95 years in Hangzhou, 82.5 years in Jiaxing, 82.2 years in Shaoxing, 82-plus years in Huzhou, 81.82 years in Wenzhou, 81.5 years in Lishui, 80.51 years in Zhoushan, 80.21 years in Jinhua, and 80.18 years in Quzhou.
Authorities in Ningbo and Taizhou did not release life expectancy statistics in their latest reports, but announced the figures for 2019: 81.66 years in Ningbo and 80.58 years in Taizhou.
In summary, every city in Zhejiang province has a life expectancy of over 80 years. The provincial capital of Hangzhou boasts the highest life expectancy, while Quzhou has the lowest.
Life expectancy in a certain region is considered a reflection of the local economy, healthcare system, environment, and lifestyle.
For example Bama Yao autonomous county, a holiday resort located in Guangxi Zhuang autonomous region, is a mountainous area that boasts the country's highest air quality and one of the world's highest proportions of centenarians. However, the life expectancy there is only 76.5 years, which is on par with the national average, as the county's healthcare system is relatively undeveloped compared with more prosperous regions.
The latest data show that life expectancy in Shanghai is 83.67 years, the highest among all Chinese cities. Wealthy cities in Jiangsu and Zhejiang provinces also tend to have longer lifespans.
From a global perspective, life expectancy in Hangzhou (82.95 years) falls between Singapore (83.1 years) and Australia (82.8 years), which ranked third and fourth among all nations in the global life expectancy rankings released by the World Health Organization in 2019.
Life expectancy in Taizhou (80.58 years), which is the fourth lowest among Zhejiang cities, is on par with that in Denmark (80.6 years), which was 27th in the global rankings.
Jinhua, Zhoushan, and Quzhou, which have the three lowest life expectancies among Zhejiang cities, still outperform the United States by more than 2 years in this regard. Official data show that life expectancy in the US was 77.8 years in 2020.
Many Zhejiang cities have aimed for an even higher life expectancy in 2025 in their government work reports. For example, by 2025, life expectancy in Hangzhou is expected to reach 83.88 years, even higher than the 2019 figure for Japan (83.7 years), which has long led the world in longevity.