‘Expected deaths’ are the number of people who would be expected to die in each country if the only determinants of death were someone’s sex and age. In reality, many other factors affect when we will die – the place in which we live, poverty levels and education being some examples. This map shows where people would die if everyone’s life chances were dependent just on two basic biological facts (age and sex). Older populations will be expected to have more deaths, and younger populations fewer. Women are expected to live longer than men given worldwide rates. These expectations have been applied to the sex and age structure of people living in every country.
The difference between numbers of expected and actual deaths can indicate the level of inequality in life expectancies. In India there are fewer expected deaths than actual deaths; 8 million are expected, 10 million occur. This is because in India people’s lives are shorter than the world average. In the United Kingdom 1 million people would be expected to die if world average rates prevailed, whereas only 600,000 do. The United Kingdom has longer life expectancies than the world average. China also has a larger expected than actual death toll: 11.4 million deaths are expected, 8.8 million happen each year.