Kerala still has the highest overall life expectancy at birth at 74.9 years including 72 years for men and 77.8 years for women. On an average, in India, a man will live for another 17 years and a woman for 19 years after turning 60.
The data revealed in a survey conducted by the Registrar General of India (RGI). These facets of life and death across all states, and over the years, emerge from recently released `Life Tables' which showcase yearly mortality data collected from a sample of about 7.4 million people across the country. This work is done by the Sample Registration System (SRS) under the Census office. The most recent data is from 2010-2014. Life expectancy can be calculated at birth or at various points in life. At birth, calculations average out death rates at all subsequent ages. This is usually said to be life expectancy of people in any country or a state within a country," a demographer said.
In 1970-75, people's average lifespan in India was just 49.7 years. By 2010-14, it had increased to 67.9 years, an increase of 18.2 years. Another change that has taken place is that women are now living longer than men. Four decades ago, men's average lifespan was 50.5 years compared to 49 years for women. This reversed in the mid-eighties and currently women's life expectancy stands at 69.6, almost three years more than men.
Women living longer than men is a global trend attributed to higher death rates in men, being more exposed to health risks. Kerala, with its low infant mortality, higher incomes, higher education levels and better health indicators, has the highest lifespan of 74.9 years among all states. Closely following it are Delhi, J&K, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Punjab. Lowest lifespans are in Assam, followed by UP, MP, Chhattisgarh and Odisha.
Beyond the age of five years, J&K emerges as the state with highest lifespan for every five-year age group except the over 70 years group. According to experts, not too bad poverty levels (15% compared to India's average of about 30%), more equitable land ownership and the temperate climate in Kashmir valley that is less conducive for tropical diseases and pollution may have created conditions for this higher lifespan.