LONDON, Feb. 23 (Xinhua) -- Average life expectancy is set to increase in many countries by 2030, with South Korean women likely to live beyond 90 years old, according to a new research led by scientists from Imperial College London in collaboration with the World Health Organization.
Life expectancy is projected to rise in all 35 industrialized countries covered in the study, with a probability of at least 65 percent for women and 85 percent for men, according to the study published Tuesday online in the medical journal The Lancet.
The research team calculated life expectancy at birth and predicted a baby girl born in South Korea in 2030 is expected to live 90.8 years.
There is a 90-percent probability that life expectancy at birth among South Korean women in 2030 will be higher than 86.7 years, the same as the highest worldwide life expectancy in 2012, and a 57-percent probability that it will be higher than 90 years, it said.
"Many people used to believe that 90 years is the upper limit for life expectancy, but this research suggests we will break the 90-year-barrier," said Majid Ezzati, the lead researcher and a professor at Imperial College London's School of Public Health.
"The fact that we will continue to live longer means we need to think about strengthening the health and social care systems to support an aging population with multiple health needs," Ezzati added.
Projected female life expectancy in South Korea is followed by those in France, Japan and Spain at around 88 years, the study showed.
For men, the five counties with the highest life expectancy at birth in 2030 are South Korea, Australia, Switzerland, Canada and the Netherlands, all at around 84 years, it added.
The results also showed that the United States is likely to have the lowest life expectancy at birth in 2030 among high-income countries. The nation's average life expectancy at birth of men at 79.5 years and of women at 83.3 years in 2030 will be similar to that of middle-income countries like Croatia and Mexico.
The research team explained that poor results in the United States are due to a lack of universal health coverage, as well as its highest child and maternal mortality and homicide rate among high-income countries.