The headline: The United States is being left behind by much of the developed world in terms of life expectancy; 20 major countries have overtaken the United States since 1960 (main chart). Worse, life expectancy in the last two years has actually declined! According to World Bank data1, the United States had the world’s 18th highest life expectancy in 1960, falling to 34th in 2016. Of those 17 major countries that had a higher life expectancy than the united States in 1960, only four—the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Latvia, and Lithuania—had a lower life expectancy in 2016 (see chart below). The 20 countries that have overtaken the United States include Chile, Lebanon, Cuba, Costa Rica, Portugal, and Korea; impressively, Korean life expectancy rose from 53 to 82 years from 1960–2016.
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