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Life expectancy up in Canada by five years, WHO says

Canadians are living longer, and so are people in the rest of the world, a new report says.

Children born in 2012 are expected to live an average of six years longer than those born in 1990, according to statistics released by the World Health Organization on Thursday. Females are expected to reach an average of 73 years old, while the average male will live to see his 68th birthday.

In Canada, life expectancy went up by five years on average, with men born in 2012 expected to live to an average age of 80 and women expected to reach 84 years old.

Iceland has the highest life expectancy for men, with boys born in 2012 projected to reach an average of 81 years old. Females born in Japan have the highest life expectancy in the world at 87 years.

Globally, women are expected to live five years longer than men, and those born in high-income countries still have a significantly higher life expectancy, regardless of gender.

But low-income countries have seen the most dramatic rise, with the average life expectancy shooting up by nine years on average, the report says.

The WHO says that’s because fewer children are dying before the age of 5 in those countries.

Premature deaths lower the life expectancy. In high-income countries, 90 per cent of premature deaths are due to injuries or non-communicable diseases such as heart disease or stroke, the WHO report says. In low-income countries, infectious diseases are the most common cause of death. Infectious diseases are responsible for 70 per cent of premature deaths in African countries.

Coronary heart disease, stroke and respiratory infections such as pneumonia were the three leading causes of premature death, the report says. Pneumonia is one of the primary causes of death for children under 5, along with complications due to premature birth.

The WHO says life expectancy has increased in developing countries because tobacco use has gone down and those countries have had success in lowering heart disease and stroke rates.

Only one-third of the world’s deaths are properly recorded along with a cause of death.

The WHO also found that 6.7 per cent of the world’s children are obese.

 

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 Canadian Investment Abroad Hits Highest Level in 16 Months

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OTTAWA--Foreigners reduced their holdings in Canadian securities in March, while Canadian investors purchased foreign securities, led by equities, at the fastest pace in 16 months, Statistics Canada said Friday.

In March, foreign investors sold a net 1.23 billion Canadian dollars ($1.13 billion) in Canadian securities, marking the first monthly divestment in 2014. Canadian investors, meanwhile, acquired a net C$7.88 billion in foreign securities, the largest investment abroad since November 2012.

The data agency said the transactions led to a net outflow of funds from the Canadian economy of C$9.11 billion in the month of March, and C$10.36 billion for the first quarter of 2014 -- the biggest such outflow in a three-month period since the fourth quarter of 2007.

The March report reinforces a trend in which foreigners reduce their positions in Canada debt instruments, while Canadian investor appetite for foreign holdings expands. Economists say this has weighed on the Canadian dollar over the past 12 months, offsetting rising commodity prices that should have offered a boost to the currency, known locally as the loonie.

Canadian securities, in particular debt, were seen as a safe haven in the aftermath of the financial crisis, as Canada was one of the few countries that maintained its triple-A credit rating and economic growth initially outpaced its industrialized peers.

The foreign selloff in March was led by a C$6.06 billion divestment from short-term Canadian money-market instruments, largely Government of Canada paper. Foreigners also sold C$1.55 billion in government-issued bonds. Offsetting the selloff was a C$5.18 billion purchase of bonds issued by private-sector companies, mostly new issues denominated in U.S. dollars, and a C$2.99 billion investment in Canadian stocks.

Canadian investors targeted foreign stocks in March, purchasing C$6.42 billion in equities, or the largest such purchase in nearly seven years. The data agency said most of the purchases were of non-U.S. stocks.

Canadians also acquired C$1.47 billion in foreign debt securities, mostly U.S. Treasury bonds.

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