Oct 26, 2016 04:47 PM

Plan Outlines Goal for Raising China's Average Life Expectancy to 79

China has set a goal of raising the national average life expectancy by more than two years to 79 by 2030, narrowing the gap between China's life expectancy and those of high-income countries.

According to the Healthy China 2030 policy blueprint issued Tuesday by the Communist Party of China's Central Committee and the State Council, China's current life expectancy is 76.35 years. By 2030, it will be 79 years — if all goes according to plan.

The average person born in a high-income country today can expect to live 80.58 years, according to the latest figures available from the World Bank.

Countries with an annual gross national income (GNI) per capita of $12,476 or more are considered by the World Bank to be "high income." China is currently categorized as "upper-middle-income," meaning it has an annual GNI per capita of $4,036 to $12,475.

The Healthy China 2030 plan sets the direction for China's public health policy over the next 15 years. Tuesday's blueprint covers areas such as health literacy, chronic diseases, sex education and traditional Chinese medicine.

In order to reach the 2030 health targets, China will need to address existing problems with poor rural sanitation, pollution and tobacco use, the blueprint said.

The blueprint also mentioned other health care objectives, including reducing the maternal mortality rate to 12 deaths per 100,000 live births by 2030.

Last month, the National Health and Family Planning Commission announced that China's maternal mortality rate in the first half of 2016 was 18.3 deaths per 100,000 live births, a 30.6% increase from the same period last year.

Contact editor Ken Howe (

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