Life Expectancy vs GDP Correlation Among: Chile, China, Zimbabwe, Germany, USA, and Mexico

It is well believed that a country’s GDP correlates with the expected life span of it’s citizenry. For my latest assignment with Codecademy I analyzed the data of six countries from 2010 through 2017.

In the box plot graph above we see the life expectancy of our six countries. The extreme outlier being the nation of Zimbabwe with a low life expectancy rate ranging from 45 to the low 60’s -while the other six countries are clustered in the range of 70 to the low 80’s. Obviously Zimbabwe may have other mitigating factors for such a drastic divergence in data, and could benefit from a separate analysis on it’s own.

Here we have a closer look at the other five nations without Zimbabwe. Considering what we know about each country in regards to wealth it is interesting to see Chile, and Germany atop the life expectancy range, but in order to get a clearer view we will need more analysis.

It is a popular notion that a country’s GDP will correlate with a longer life expectancy. Here we have our two leading life expectancy countries, Chile and Germany, ranked fifth and third in GDP. While their GDPs are significantly different they are still able to produce a longer life span for their citizens. Meanwhile the two biggest economies rank noticeably below, and considering the extreme size of the American economy it is strongly suggested their must be other mitigating factors to a country’s life span. Again Zimbabwe is far below the norm here, but we’ll get a better look in the next graph.

Next we can see each countries growth in GDP, and the fluctuation. While we can see a correlation between GDP and life expectancy here we also see discrepancies at certain points. I’d be interested to have more information about what was happening within the country’s borders during these fluctuations. However the trend does suggest a better GDP correlates with a better life expectancy overall.

In conclusion I believe a stronger GDP can tell you much about a country’s life expectancy. However there are significant differences between countries having a weaker GDP performing the best in terms of life expectancy. Chile in particular may be of interest as it performed least among the top five. The United States who far out performed in GDP did not correlate with a stronger performance in life expectancy.

Zimbabwe was far below the other countries shows the same correlation. I suspect that at some point the quantitative significance of GDP and life expectancy may reach a plateau, but further data will be needed.