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Life expectancy gap between Koreas is 11 years: CIA

South Korean (left) and North Korean flags. (123rf)
South Korean (left) and North Korean flags. (123rf)
North Koreans born in 2020 can expect to live about 71 years on average, whereas their South Korean neighbors have an average life expectancy of about 82 years, the Central Intelligence Agency said in its latest World Factbook.

Boys and girls in the North have life expectancies of 67 and 75 years, respectively, as opposed to 79 and 85 in the South, the CIA said. The median ages for the North and South stand at 34 and 43, respectively.

North Koreans over the age of 65 make up only 9 percent of the country’s population, whereas in South Korea they account for 15 percent of the total. 

South Korea has the lowest infant mortality rate of any developed country in the world, with 2.8 out of every 1,000 babies dying before their first birthdays. For North Korea, the figure is 22 per 1,000.

About 9 million people reside in the South’s capital, Seoul, three times the figure for the North’s capital, Pyongyang. South Korea has a total population of about 50 million, double that of North Korea.

The CIA said North Korea has only state-owned broadcast stations, the Korean Central News Agency, for example, and blocks South Korean and other foreign broadcast services, leaving its entire population disconnected from the outside world.

By Choi Si-young (