Korean men have an average lifespan that is six years shorter than Korean women, data showed Tuesday.
According to Statistics Korea, in 2020, Korean women had a life expectancy of 86.5 years, while men had a life expectancy of 80.5 years. The difference in life expectancy is due mainly to men being more vulnerable to diseases, including lung cancer, pneumonia, heart disease and vascular disease.
“As long as records have been kept in all countries, women have lived longer than men,” said Kim Soon-young, a deputy director at Statistics Korea. “Basically, almost every major cause of death, men are more likely to die sooner than women are.”
Korea has been experiencing the fastest trend toward longer lifespans in the world. Since 1970, life expectancy in Korea has continued to increase.
In 1970, Korean men had a life expectancy of 58.7 years, while Korean women had a life expectancy of 65.8 years.
Korean life expectancies for both men and women are 2.6 years and 3.3 years longer, respectively, than the average of the 38 member states of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). Among OECD members, Koreans have the second longest life expectancy, with an average of 83.5 years, following Japan with 84.7 years.