- South Africa’s life expectancy has improved compared to last year.
- Last year, it had declined due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
- The reduction in deaths for 2022 has improved life expectancy.
Life expectancy in South Africa has slightly improved compared to last year, when it declined for the first time in almost two decades due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Last year, the Total Life Expectancy at birth had dropped by 3.5 years, with males declining to below 60.
However, that has now improved. This year, life expectancy has increased by 0.8 years for men (60 years) and 1.4 years for women (65.6 years).
The statistician-general, Risenga Maluleke, released the 2022 mid-year population estimates report in Pretoria on Thursday morning.
According to StatsSA, last year’s 34% rise in deaths in adults significantly affected the life expectancy at birth. But the 5% reduction in deaths for 2022 has improved life expectancy.
According to StatsSA, female mortality was “already disproportionately higher than male mortality due to the impact of HIV/Aids”.
Meanwhile, the Free State province has a significantly lower life expectancy than all the other provinces: (62 years for women and 56.6 years for men).
KwaZulu-Natal was second lowest, with a life expectancy for women of 64 years and 57.8 for men.
“While the life expectancy at birth indicator is an important health indicator, it should not be interpreted as a projection of an individual’s lifespan, but rather should be used to shed light on the cumulative burden of a crisis, such as Covid-19, compared to recent trends.”
However, if the country continued its fight against Covid-19 by vaccination and continued prevention practices, such as mask-wearing, social distancing and sanitising of hands and surfaces, the country would likely see life expectancy improve, according to StatsSA.
The infant mortality rate also declined, from the estimated 55.2 infant deaths per 1 000 live births in 2021, to 24.3 infant deaths per 1 000 deaths in 2022.