Japan’s Average Life Expectancy Continues to Fall in 2022

Yomiuri Shimbun file photo
The cityscape of Tokyo

TOKYO (Jiji Press) — The average life expectancy fell for both Japanese men and women for the second consecutive year in 2022, a health ministry survey showed Friday.

The average life expectancy last declined for two years in a row in 2010 and 2011 for both sexes.

In 2022, men’s average life expectancy fell 0.42 year from 2021 to 81.05 years, and that of women dropped 0.49 year to 87.09 years. The drops were “largely due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” a ministry official said.

According to the ministry, the reported number of people who died after getting infected with the novel coronavirus rose to 47,635 in 2022 from 16,766 in 2021.

The COVID-19 pandemic is seen to have shortened the average life expectancy in 2022 by 0.12 year for men and 0.13 year for women, larger than 0.10 year and 0.07 year, respectively, in 2021.

The average life expectancy is the number of years a baby born in a given year is expected to live on the assumption that the death rate for each age group remains unchanged.

Until 2020, the average life expectancy had hit a record high for nine straight years for men and for eight years in a row for women.