Estimates of average life expectancy for 169 countries are used to compute the trend in between-country health inequality from 1980 to 2000. Results show that inequality in the distribution of life expectancy across countries declined in the 1980s, but then increased through the 1990s. The recent turn-around in between-country health inequality is significant because it reverses a long-term trend of declining inequality across countries that began in the first half of the twentieth century. The primary cause of rising inequality across countries is declining life expectancy in sub-Saharan Africa, largely owing to HIV/AIDS. Life expectancy in sub-Saharan Africa holds the key to the future trend in between-country inequality.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science