Nations' education level can boost life expectancy at birth

London:  A country's education level is an important determinant of life expectancy at birth, says a study. The findings showed that the improvement in less developed countries was not on average as good as among developed nations in 2005-2010.  Average life expectancy in 1950-1955 still showed to be 11 years lower than life expectancy at birth in developed countries. However, life expectancy at birth showed an increase of 21 years from 46.6 years in 1950-1955 to 67.6 years in 2005-2010. "Higher education level among young women positively affects their reproductive health and their status in a family, community and society," said Anica Novak from the NGO Association for Education and Sustainable Development in Slovenia. The more educated women are, the less likely they are to be infected with HIV which further increases life expectancy at birth, Novak added. The results were published in the International Journal of Innovation and Learning. Previous researchers have shown that increasing the length of formal education among young people positively affects their professional career and improves their living standard and consequently life expectancy at birth. Also, lower education of young women lead to teenage pregnancy and motherhood, lower income and living standard and consequently lower life expectancy at birth. Societies need to encourage education among young people as well as education of adults through lifelong learning programmes, the researchers noted. For the study, the team tested the importance of education level on data from 187 countries while considering issues like the negative impacts of gender inequality over life expectancy at birth and positive impacts of schooling. "Our research confirms the importance of education level in a country and implies that societies should encourage education among people," the researchers concluded.