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South Africans are likely to live, on average, seven years longer in 2040 than they do now, but the country will see only modest improvement in its global ranking as longevity increases worldwide, according to a study published in the Lancet on Wednesday . SA had an average life expectancy of 62.4 years in 2016, and ranked 171 among 195 countries. If recent health trends continue, SA could see life expectancy increasing to 69.3 years. But it will only rise two places in the global rankings, to 169, as life expectancy is expected to increase in most countries. Spain is expected to rank first in 2040, with an average lifespan of 85.8 years, followed by Japan with life expectancy of 83.7 years. The authors of the study forecast a range of scenarios for each country, which for SA show that life expectancy could increase by as much as 12.9 years to 75.3 years if the country stepped up its efforts to improve the health of the nation. But in the worst-case scenario, life expectancy could f...

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