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The average number of years babies born around the world are expected to live without any serious medical or health issues increased by about 5 years since 2000.

Expand chart
Data: World Health Organization; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Why it matters: The developed world is having fewer children and will soon have a much larger population of retired, elderly people with health care needs. This is likely to cause significant financial strain on government programs and the labor force in many countries. But if people are staying healthy longer, it could lessen some of those economic impacts.

Key quote: "There’s a potential for some significant positive offset through higher elderly workforce participation," Richard Jackson, president of the Global Aging Institute, told Axios. "It’s also possible — but not certain — that health spans will continue to rise along with life spans, and that may take some pressure off."

Highlights:

  • China surpassed the U.S. for healthy life expectancy for the first time in 2016. Yun Sun, director of the China program at the Stimson Center, told Axios that one reason is that obesity and drug use are not as common in China.
  • Syria has one of the most dramatic declines in healthy life expectancy, as the country has been plagued with civil war, ISIS and a refugee crisis.
  • The U.S.'s healthy life expectancy has dropped by 0.2 years since 2010. Overall life expectancy has also dropped the past few years, which has been attributed, at least in part, to the opioid crisis.
  • Japan and Singapore have some of the lowest fertility rates in the world. But the Japanese and Singaporeans are also some of the healthiest, longest-living people in the world. One reason is their diets.
  • "Compared with other developed nations, Japanese people on average eat fewer calories per day, and in a healthier pattern," Naomi Moriyama, who has written a book on the subject, told the Today Show.
  • In addition, Singapore's healthcare system is efficient and effective, according to the Cigna Global health insurance company.

Go deeper

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
2 hours ago - Economy & Business

An inside look at Intuit's Mailchimp acquisition

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

When Mailchimp recently agreed to be acquired by Intuit for $12 billion, we noted how it was the richest sale ever of a private bootstrapped company. Now we know more about why the Atlanta-based email marketing company never took outside funding.

The big picture: Mailchimp founder and CEO Ben Chestnut tells Axios that it was all about timing.

"Noticias Telemundo" names Julio Vaqueiro as new anchor

Julio Vaqueiro. Photo: Noticias Telemundo

Emmy award-winning journalist Julio Vaqueiro will become the new anchor of "Noticias Telemundo," the network's daily Spanish-language evening newscast, Noticias Telemundo announced Thursday.

The big picture: Vaqueiro replaces José Díaz-Balart, who is returning to MSNBC later this month to host a new show as NBC seeks to add more diverse voices to its English-language news programs.

Al Gore's Climate TRACE finds vast undercounts of emissions

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

A high-tech independent effort to track greenhouse gas emissions from every country, industrial facility and power plant announced its first results on Monday.

Why it matters: Climate TRACE utilizes satellite data, machine learning and artificial intelligence to determine greenhouse gas emissions globally. It aims usher in an era of "radical transparency" and a more enforceable climate agreement by giving nonprofits, governments and the UN actionable intelligence to track and crack down on polluters.