In Brazil, where you're born not only affects how you live, but can also have an enormous impact on how long you'll live. The results of the latest report from the Brazilian Institute of Geography and Statistics, published in Folha de S. Paulo, show that life expectancy in the country of samba varies from what is typical in Denmark to one closer to a country like Tajikistan, in central Asia.
Conditions in Brazil have improved dramatically over the past century, and with an average life expectancy of 75 years, babies born today can theoretically hope to live 30 years longer than those born in the 1940s. But averages tell only part of the story.
The richer states in southeastern Brazil have a much higher life expectancy — almost 82 years for women born in Santa Catarina, for example. Men in the small northeastern state of Alagoas, meanwhile, aren't expected to live beyond 66, a gap that serves as damning evidence of unequal access to health care across Brazil.
Accidents and violence also disproportionately affect men. According to Folha, a 20-year-old man in the Alagoas state is eight times less likely to reach 25 than a woman of the same age.