In poor countries, no richer but living longer? : World Bank data on life expectancy and GDP in low-income vs. high-income countries

The World Bank has many data series that allow comparisons among countries over time, and today’s FRED graph reveals some trends in life expectancy and national income.
Lower life expectancy in low-income countries has been catching up. In 1982, life expectancy at birth in low-income countries was about 66% of what it was in high-income countries. Then life expectancy increased at a faster pace in low-income countries, and the value rose to 78% by 2018. This rising longevity, especially in relation to longevity in high-income countries, is remarkable because it doesn’t coincide with an improvement in relative economic performance.
In 1982, real GDP per capita in poor countries was 2.8% of what it was in rich countries. In 2018, it was 1.8%. Despite poor countries losing ground to rich countries on the economic front (GDP per capita), they gained ground on the health front (life expectancy at birth).
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Federal Reserve Source

Author: RealEstate