By Miriam Weiner for U.S. News Health
In 1513, Spanish conquistador Juan Ponce de León set sail in search of Bimini, a mythical land said to house a spring that restored youth to anyone who drank from it. After scouring the Caribbean and Florida, he returned empty-handed, and the Fountain of Youth remained undiscovered. Perhaps he was just looking in the wrong place.
As part of their data collection for the World Factbook, the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) combs through death certificates, recording race, gender, cause of death and other factors to estimate the life expectancy of a nation's entire population. Calculating the average life expectancy of the world's total population at 67.59 years, the CIA has determined which societies live longer.
In the United states, average life expectancy is 78.49 years, well above the world's norm. Many experts attribute this to ongoing medical developments, which have dealt with conditions that used to mow us down early. Meanwhile, nations without advanced medical care report a much shorter life expectancy. For instance, citizens of the Republic of Chad in central Africa are only expected to live until their late 40s.
Despite the fact that the average American lives into his or her late 70s, the United States ranks 50th on the CIA's life expectancy list. According to the World Factbook, these 10 nations seem to have discovered the secret to longevity -- no magical spring water required.
For more on aging, click here.
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