- At the beginning of the 20th century, pneumonia, influenza, tuberculosis and gastrointestinal infections were the main causes of death among the population.
- Currently the average life in Mexico is 75 years.
- By the year 2100, Chile is expected to be the country with the highest life expectancy in all of Latin America.
Thanks to the various innovations in Medicine, people now live longer. The development of drugs has been essential to offer an alternative against diseases that were previously deadly. Despite the above, progress is not the same throughout the world because Only in Latin America does life expectancy have large differences between each nation.
What did people die of in the past?
In this sense, at the beginning of the 20th century, the hospital infrastructure was rudimentary in this region of the planet. Hospitals were minimal and did not have adequate equipment to care for patients. Back then even problems like diarrhea were deadly.
With this in mind, according to the National Institute of Public Health (INSP), the pneumonia, influenza, tuberculosis and gastrointestinal infections were the main causes of death among the population.
For his part, life expectancy in Latin America increased steadily from an average of 48 years in 1950 to 75 years in 2019. This resounding improvement was the result of a sharp decline in mortality rates, particularly child mortality.
In addition, during this period the region experienced socioeconomic development that allowed improvements in nutrition, access to drinking water, health, urban infrastructure, and technology.
The biggest setback in recent history
Despite progress, in 2020 there was a setback due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The blow was so great that the entire planet saw a decrease in life expectancy.
Latin America was the region of the world where life expectancy at birth fell the most since the pandemic, registering a loss of 2.9 years between 2019 (when he reached 75 years) and 2021 (72 years). This means that, in 2021, the region’s life expectancy fell to levels not seen since the beginning of this century.
The loss is not only due to mortality from Covid-19 but also to other economic and social causes arising from the pandemic. In fact, the average is not expected to return to pre-pandemic levels until 2025.
Evolution over the years
About this topic, the Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean (ECLAC) indicates that since 1950 there has been a true generational leap in life expectancy.
At that time, Uruguay was the Latin American country with the highest life expectancy at birth, which reached 66 years. Instead, this 2022 it is estimated that Puerto Rico will take the lead in the region, with an average life expectancy of 80 years.
While in the future, for the year 2100 an even greater change is expected. Chile is projected to have the highest life expectancy in all of Latin America, at 92 years. If we compare it with 1950, this would mean an increase of almost four decades in the life expectancy of Chileans. Although the countries have alternated in this ranking, there are eight that have remained in the top ten since the middle of the last century: Argentina, Chile, Costa Rica, Cuba, Ecuador, Panama, Puerto Rico and Uruguay.
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