Life expectancy is an indicator of human development.
All the countries including India publish their Life Tables regularly.
Life table according to the Experts is the barometer of the population.
It provides insights into the mortality and measures of longevity of the population for the period of study.
Abridged life tables for the period 2014-18 by sex and residence for India and bigger States/ UTs have been published by the Registrar General, India during September this year based on SRS data.
The same has been presented up to age 85+. Previous reports for the period 1970-75, 1976-80, 1981-85, 1986-90 and since then life tables have been brought out annually on five yearly moving average basis to form a continuous series.
Significantly, from life expectancy at birth of 49.7 years in 1970-75, the same has increased to 69.4 years as per the latest report, showing an increase of 19.7 years in last 45 years in the country.
For males, the increase is 17.7 years, from 50.5 years to 68.2 years; for females increase is 21.7 years from 49.0 to 70.7 years for the same period.
Overall improvement for females is more than males. In the rural areas, the gain in life expectancy for female is 22.2 years compared to 17.8 years for males.
In urban areas, the increase for female is 14.6 years against 12.7 years for males.
In Odisha life expectancy at birth has shown an increase of 23.6 years during the same period, showing steeper achievement since life expectancy, which was 45.7 years in 1970-75, became 69.3 as per the latest report. For females the increase is from 45.3 to 70.89, by 25.5 years.
For male category, the increase is by 22 years, from 46.0 to 68 years.
Like the figure for the country, here too, the gain for female outscores male, be it in total, rural or urban category.
The increase is 25.5 years for female and 22 years for male. In rural area, the increase for female is by 25.7 years and for males it is 21.8 years.
For urban areas, the increase for female is 16.7 years and for male it is 16.4 years.
Another important aspect is to know the gap between the rural and urban life expectancy.
The gap was 10.9 years in 1970-75 report, which got reduced to 4.6 years as per the latest report for the country.
The corresponding figures for Odisha is 10.3 and 3.3 years, showing faster gap reduction for the state.
After discounting the death during the first year after birth, the demographers publish life expectancy at age 1.
The report reveals that average life span improves after surviving the first year of life. This is true for rural as well as urban area.
The life expectancy at age one for the country is 71.1 as per the latest report, more than 68.2 years at birth, hinting at infant mortality.
The gap between life expectancy for female and male at age one in rural area in the country, which was 0.2 years in 1987 has increased to 2.9 years in 2014-18.
We see that in urban area, females have been outliving man since the year 1970-75.
The gap for female and male at age one for urban area has increased from 0.4 years in 1970-75 to 2.7 years in 2014-18 for the country.
Female at age one has the highest life expectancy of 74.9 years in urban area of the country, as per the report.
In case of Odisha, as per the latest report, female at age one has the highest life expectancy of 73.6 years in urban area against 71.6 for male counterpart.
The figures for rural areas are 72.3 and 69.3 years respectively.
Analysis of per annum average increase of life expectancy at birth for the period from 1970 to 2018 show that females have outperformed males in the country and all states.
The good news for Odisha is that for male, per annum increase of 0.49 years is the highest amongst all states and for females it is 0.57 years, just behind Himachal Pradesh (0.58).
Analysis of expectation of life at selected ages like birth, one, five, ten, twenty, thirty, forty, fifty, sixty and seventy reveal interesting facts from the latest report.
The expectancy at age one is more than at birth in all states except Kerala, showing better achievement on infant mortality in Kerala. In all states, life expectancy declines after age one.
NCT Delhi records the highest life expectancy till the age 40 amongst all states.
Jammu & Kashmir does the best for the age 50 and 60. At the age of 80 and more years, Uttarakhand scores over others.
The minimum life expectancy of life is in Chhatisgarh for all ages.
The brighter side for Odisha is that it has better life expectancy at all ages than at birth and age one, when compared to the overall figures for the country.
Similar is the position for male category in Odisha. For female category, the life expectancy is higher at all ages than reported for the country.
An examination of state-wise variation in the difference between female and male life expectancy at birth and at age seventy during 2014-18 reveal that it is favourable to female than male in all states expect Jharkhand and Bihar.
As against a difference of 2.5 years for the country, the figure for Odisha at birth is 2.8 years.
The difference reduces to just one year at age seventy for the country and 1.7 years for Odisha.
Himachal is most favourable to females as the difference is 7.3 years at birth and 1.7 years at age seventy.
In contrast to the national trend, in Jharkhand male has 1.4 years of more life expectancy at birth and 1.1 years at age seventy over female.
The figures for Bihar are 0.7 and 0.5 years similarly. An important related observation is that at a higher age level, the differential narrows down.
Most of the states reported higher life expectancy in the urban area than in rural area showing a better life support system in towns.
The exception is Kerala where life expectancy at birth in the rural area is more.
In states like Uttarakhand, Telengana and Kerala, the life expectancy at age seventy and above is more in rural areas.
The difference in urban-rural life expectancy at birth is the highest for Assam state by 8 years at birth and 2.6 years at age 70.
Odisha performs better compared to the country and many states on this parameter.
Against the differential of 4.6 years at birth for the country, the figure for Odisha is 3.3 year; and the figures for age 70 are 1.3 years and 0.1 years respectively.
The life expectancy tables released recently tells about the significant improvement in human development indicators for the country.
The achievement of Odisha is very significant against several parameters over the period of about five decades.
*The author is Principal Secretary, the Department of Revenue and disaster management and Odia Language Literature & Culture Department, Government of Odisha. The opinions expressed are personal.