life expectancy


Definition of life expectancy

: the average life span of an individual

Examples of life expectancy in a Sentence

improvements in diet that have resulted in greater life expectancy for many people calculating the life expectancies of different social groups

Recent Examples on the Web

The great gains in life expectancy as people gave up smoking and treatments for heart disease improved have run their course. Paul J. Davies, WSJ, "Life Was Short for Longevity Gains," 14 Mar. 2019 There’s no net benefit in life expectancy, the study found. Joel Achenbach, The Seattle Times, "A huge clinical trial collapses, and research on alcohol remains befuddling," 6 Aug. 2018 Increases have been so drastic that researchers have blamed suicide, along with substance abuse, for recent declines in overall U.S. life expectancy, according to an editorial published in a recent issue of the BMJ. Jamie Ducharme, Time, "A Disturbing Trend on the Rise," 7 June 2018 The tree has long outlived its life expectancy — a bonsai typically doesn't live more than 200 years. Lauren Smith, House Beautiful, "This Bonsai Tree Survived an Atomic Bomb," 7 Aug. 2015 But outcomes such as life expectancy and infant mortality are worse here. Jon Talton, The Seattle Times, "Trump’s gambit to kill Obamacare risks lives and opportunity," 29 Mar. 2019 For women at the extremes of the income distribution, life expectancy differed by 10 years. Julia Belluz, Vox, "We’re making real progress against cancer. But you may not know it if you’re poor.," 8 Jan. 2019 Spain is also, according to the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, set to have the highest global life expectancy in 2040—showing that the Iberian nation is leading the way in both quality of life and longevity. Vogue, "These Are the Healthiest Countries in the World," 26 Feb. 2019 Then another parent joined and another, as overdoses became the leading cause of death for young Americans, dragging down the nation’s overall life expectancy three years in a row for the first time in a century. Claire Galofaro, The Seattle Times, "Moms of the dead from drugs: “Where is the outrage for us?”," 29 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'life expectancy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of life expectancy

1848, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for life expectancy

Last Updated

28 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for life expectancy

The first known use of life expectancy was in 1848

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More Definitions for life expectancy

life expectancy


English Language Learners Definition of life expectancy

: the average number of years that a person or animal can expect to live

life expectancy


Medical Definition of life expectancy

: an expected number of years of life based on statistical probability

life expectancy


Legal Definition of life expectancy

: the average life span of an individual

More from Merriam-Webster on life expectancy

Spanish Central: Translation of life expectancy Encyclopedia article about life expectancy

Comments on life expectancy

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