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What Is Life Expectancy of Jamaicans?

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Life Expectancy of Jamaicans | Violet Brown Guinness World Record Holder For Oldest Person In the World 2017 (Photo: guinnessworldrecords.com)Life Expectancy of Jamaicans | Violet Brown Guinness World Record Holder For Oldest Person In the World 2017 (Photo: guinnessworldrecords.com)

by Venesha Johnson | Assoicate Writer

When you hear the term life expectancy, what comes to your mind? What does it say about the health of our population?


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What is the most important measure of population health?

You see, the most crucial statistic for measuring population health is life expectancy. Life expectancy captures mortality across the entire life course, making it more comprehensive than the restricted measure of infant and child mortality, which concentrates only on mortality at a young age. It provides information on the typical death age for a population.

It is a measurement that compiles a nation's mortality, allowing comparison across generations and spot trends. Its interpretation and significance are even richer and can give important details about how well-developed a nation's welfare state is.

Jamaica's current life expectancy in 2022 is 74.77 years, up 0.15% from 2021. In 2021, Jamaica's life expectancy was 74.66 years, up 0.15% from 2020.

According to the CIA World Factbook, Jamaica currently has a 74.77-year life expectancy from birth, placing it 123rd in the world.

Who has a higher life expectancy rate, men or women?

On average, Jamaican women live up until 76.5 years while men live an average of 72.7 years. This is more than a 10-year increase from 64 years back in the 1960s.

What is Jamaica’s infant mortality rate?

Jamaica is happily seeing a decline in its infant mortality rate. In 2020 the infant mortality rate in Jamaica was 11.4 per 1000 births, this is down from a rate of 11.6 in 2019 and a whopping 14.6 back in 2000.

Things that have led to an increase in Jamaica’s life expectancy rate:

  1. Improvements in clean drinking water- It was estimated that access to clean water had increased for urban populations by 97.5 % and rural populations by 89.4 %, leaving just a minority of the population in need of water improvement.

  2. Decrease in HIV and AIDS cases- due to medical advancements there has been a significant decrease in the virus in Jamaica and the Caribbean at large. With 1,500 fatalities as of 2017, only 1.8% of Jamaica's island had HIV. Comparatively, 56 % were in 2004.

  3. Decrease in Zika virus cases- This virus, which is spread by mosquito bites, and can also spread through sex, blood transfusions, and pregnancies, has seen a high number of cases in 2016 but has decreased significantly as of 2019.

  4. Education- Yes education plays a role in Jamaica’s life expectancy rate. There has been an increase in Jamaican education. This gives children the opportunity to grow into productive members of society, increasing their life expectancy.

    More children are starting school between the ages of two and three. The country provides preschool, primary, and high school and offers further educational choices. With improvements in education, the literacy rate of Jamaica has climbed to 87% overall.

  5. Nutrition- The World Food Program has been active in Jamaica. As a result of its efforts, the obesity rate in the nation fell to under 20% in 2018. This represents a significant improvement over the 5% decline in 2016. Only 2.2% of kids under the age of five have an underweight condition.

  6. Improvement in Sanitation Facilities- The nation has made improvements to local restrooms, schools, hospitals, homes, and parks in 84.1% of rural and 79.9% of urban areas. 18.2% of this area still requires work in those areas to increase life expectancy.

While some may consider this a rather low life expectancy rate, this is just an average and Jamaicans have had several centenarians over the years. In, fact Violet Brown received the Guinness World Record for the oldest person in the world in 2017. Her son was also the oldest person in the world with a living parent. He was well into his 90s before he passed.

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We got to speak with another supercentenarian, Ms. Lea from Hanover. She shared as much as she could remember with us about the time she lived in.

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References & Sources For Life Expectancy of Jamaicans

  1. CENIE. 2022. The life expectancy: what is it and why does it matter? [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 September 2022].
  2. Roser, M., Ortiz-Ospina, E. and Ritchie, H., 2022. Life Expectancy. [online] Our World in Data. Available at: [Accessed 23 September 2022].
  3. Thelwell, K., 2022. 10 Facts About Life Expectancy in Jamaica - The Borgen Project. [online] The Borgen Project. Available at: [Accessed 23 September 2022].

Life Expectancy of Jamaicans | Written: September 23rd, 2022

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