BEIJING, Aug. 9 (UPI) -- The average life expectancy in China rose to 74.83 years at the end of 2010 from 71.4 years in 2000, the National Bureau of Statistics said.
The increase of 3.43 years in the life expectancy in just a decade was credited to improved medical services in the country of 1.33 billion people, brought on by its impressive economic growth.
The bureau, which used data from the latest census to calculate the life expectancy, said the trend will continue, Xinhua News Agency reported.
The bureau said the average life expectancy among Chinese men stood at 72.38 years, up 2.75 years from 2000, while that of women is 77.37 years, up 4.04 years. The female-male gap widened to 4.99 years in 2010 from 3.7 years in 2000.
China's overall average life expectancy of 74.83 years in 2010 compared with the global life expectancy of 69.6 years, the report said.
Currently, there are 118.85 million Chinese 60 years or older, or 13.26 percent of the total population. The government expects the number of those 65 or older to rise to 323 million, or more than 23 percent of the nation's population, by 2050.