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Life Expectancy in Nigeria

Life expectancy is something you hear all the time. Nigeria is infamous for having low life expectancy compared to other countries in the World and more specifically, Africa. Well, life expectancy changes every year as birth and death rate in countries also change.

In this article, we’ll be looking at the current life expectancy in Nigeria. I’ll be explaining everything you need to know what life expectancy is all about, the life expectancy in Nigeria, why the life expectancy is how it is, and the life expectancy of Nigeria compared to that of other African countries. 

So, if this is the information you’re looking for, do well to read on.

What is Life Expectancy?

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Life expectancy is the projected number of years a person can live on the statistical average. It is the predicted number of years remaining for an individual at any particular age. It varies by region and when you were born. For example, life expectancy was 26 years in the Bronze Age and in recent times, we have higher figures like 67 years in 2010. Some countries have a life expectancy of over 80 years.

In mathematics and statistics where it’s calculated, life expectancy is expressed as ex, where “e” represents the remaining years and “x” indicates the person’s age. Remember that even if mortality patterns remain constant, very few people will die at the exact age indicated by life expectancy. In other words, people aren’t expected to die at the exact life expectancy year. 

Many infants die in high infant mortality civilizations, but those that survive childhood frequently live far longer. It is possible for a population to have a low life expectancy at birth, but a high number of elderly people.

What is Life Expectancy in Nigeria?

According to data from the World Bank, the current life expectancy at birth in Nigeria is 54.69 years, approximately 55 years. Comparing this with past years, the life expectancy at birth in Nigeria was 51 years in 2010, 46 years in 2000 and 1990 respectively, 45 years in 1980, 41 years in 1970, and 38 years in 1960 when Nigeria gained her independence.

We can still break this down to get more insights:

  • Life expectancy at birth for men in Nigeria: 54 years
  • Life expectancy at birth for women in Nigeria: 56 years

While the life expectancy is relatively low compared to that of other countries, it is clear there’s been substantial increase in how long Nigerian residents are expected to live. Also, you can deduce that women are expected to live longer in Nigeria than the men – with a difference of approximately 12 years. 

Why is the Life Expectancy in Nigeria so low?

There are many reasons why life expectancy is low in Nigeria compared to other countries. Some of them include: 

  • Terrorism: Terrorist groups, murders, and robberies are on the rise. Terrifying terrorists from the north, militants from the south, and kidnappers and cattlemen all over the country.
  • Poverty: Poverty destroys first the intellect, then the body. Most of the time, this leads to addiction and drug abuse. People turn to alcoholism, smoking, and other bad habits to pass the time or avoid reality lead to mortality.
  • Pollution: Pollution, dust from unfinished roads, chemicals and poisons in our processed meals, pharmaceuticals, vaccines, and so on. The ongoing situation of black soot in the Niger Delta region is a good example. No public exercise facilities, deforestation leads to inadequate vegetation in urban populations.
  • Stress: No time for holidays or other leisure activities due to excessive working hours.
  • Poor Healthcare: the sub-standard public health care facilities all over Nigeria is a major contributing factor. Citizens die avoidable deaths because hospitals don’t have the right equipment to treat them. 

Now you know the possible causes of low life expectancy in Nigeria.

Which African country has the lowest life expectancy?

You should know that Nigeria is not the country with the lowest life expectancy in Nigeria. The country with the lowest is Central African Republic with a life expectancy of 53 years. However, Nigeria is the country with the fifth lowest life expectancy. Algeria has the highest in Africa with up to 78 years. The full list include:

  • Algeria: 78 years 
  • Libya: 76 years
  • Morocco: 76 years
  • Tunisia: 76 years
  • Mauritius: 75 years
  • Egypt: 74 years
  • Cape Verde: 73 years
  • Seychelles: 73 years
  • Kenya: 69 years
  • Rwanda: 69 years
  • Senegal: 68 years
  • Gabon: 68 years
  • Sao Tome and Principle: 68 years
  • Djibouti: 67 years
  • Ethiopia: 67 years
  • Madagascar: 67 years
  • Eritrea: 66 years
  • Sudan: 65 years
  • Mauritania: 65 years
  • Tanzania: 65 years
  • South Africa: 65 years
  • Ghana: 64 years
  • Liberia: 64 years
  • Comoros: 64 years
  • Malawi: 64 years
  • Zambia: 64 years
Black and Green Desk Globe
  • Congo: 64 years
  • Botswana: 64 years
  • Uganda: 63 years
  • Namibia: 63 years
  • Gambia: 62 years
  • Burundi: 62 years
  • Cameroon: 62 years
  • Benin: 61 years
  • Burkina Faso: 61 years
  • Guinea-Bissau: 61 years
  • Mali: 61 years
  • Togo: 61 years
  • Zimbabwe: 61 years
  • Angola: 61 years
  • Guinea: 60 years
  • Congo, Dem. Rep: 60 years
  • Niger: 59 years
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  • Equatorial Guinea: 59 years
  • Cote d’Ivoire: 58 years
  • South Sudan: 58 years
  • Chad: 58 years
  • eSwatini: 58 years
  • Somalia: 57 years
  • Nigeria: 55 years
  • Sierra Leone: 55 years
  • Mozambique: 55 years
  • Lesotho: 54 years
  • Central African Republic: 53 years

Bottom Line

Life expectancy is low in Nigeria when compared to that of other countries in Africa and the world at large. Nevertheless, it’s better than it was in the past years and we can only do our best to better it.