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Chinese life expectancy up to 77 by 2020

Published By United Press International
BEIJING, Aug. 17 (UPI) -- Chinese can expect to add more than two years to their lifespan, to an average of 77 years, by 2020, the Ministry of Health projects.

That's up from 74.8 years in 2010 and 71.4 in 2000, China's official Xinhua News Agency reported.

Targets for life expectancy and other factors such as child mortality were set out in a report released Friday by the ministry.

National healthcare input should rise to 6.5 percent to 7 percent of the gross domestic project by 2020, the ministry said. In 2010, the ratio was 4.8 percent, based on an annual healthcare budget of $314 billion.

Efforts to narrow the healthcare gap between poverty-stricken areas and other regions were highlighted in the report.

In a similar report last week, the increase in life expectancy was credited to improved medical services brought on by strong economic growth.

There are about 118.9 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.
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Race winner Bradley Wiggins of Great Britain (C) stands between second place finisher Christopher Froome of Great Britain (L) and third place finisher Vincenzo Nibali of Italy on the presentation podium following the final stage of the Tour de France in Paris on July 22, 2012. Wiggins of Great Britain became that country's first ever overall winner of the Tour de France. UPI/David Silpa