Life expectancies across the are increasing, with Iceland and Japan boasting the oldest citizens.

Worldwide, a girl born in 2012 can expect to live to 73 and a boy can expect to live to 68, according to a new report from the World Health Organisation.

This is six years longer than the average global life expectancy for a child born in 1990.

At the top end of the scale, Japanese women have the highest female life expectancy in the world at 87, and Iceland has the highest male life expectancy – 81.

The next highest female life expectancies were in Spain (85), Switzerland (85), Singapore (85) and Italy (also 85).

After Iceland, the highest male life expectancies were found in Switzerland (80), Australia (80), Israel (80), and Singapore (also 80).

In the UK, life expectancy for a boy born in 2012 is 79 and for a girl it is 83.

In the U.S. a boy born in 2012 can expect to live to 76 and a girl can expect to reach 81.

If all high-income countries are taken together, the average male life expectancy is now 76. This is 16 years more than for a boy born in a low-income country, where life expectancy is now 60.

For a girl born in 2012 in a high-income country, life expectancy is 82. For a girl born in a low-income country, the figure is just 63.

‘In high-income countries, much of the gain in life expectancy is due to success in tackling non-communicable diseases [i.e. chronic diseases such as heart disease and diabetes],’ said Dr Ties Boerma, Director of the Department of Health Statistics and Information Systems at WHO.

‘Fewer men and women are dying before they get to their 60th birthday from heart disease and stroke.

‘Richer countries have become better at monitoring and managing high blood pressure for example.’

Declining tobacco use is also a key factor in helping people live longer in several countries.

However, the ‘World Health Statistics 2014’ report shows that the greatest progress was made in low-income countries where average life expectancy increased by nine years between 1990 and 2012… see more

source: Dailymail UK