A recent study conducted by the NFHS (National Family Health Survey) reveals that life expectancy is higher in upper-caste w.r.t. SC & ST. It is the average number of years a person can live and depends on many socioeconomic factors too.
If talking about gender-based life expectancy then women fairs well in this category. Among all caste and class, women are ahead of men in lifespan. Not only this the gap between the upper and lower class women is also reduced. With Women having an expectancy of 72.2 years in the upper caste (2013-16) to 68 years in ST (2013-16).
Factors For Higher Life Expectancy
To say one factor is responsible for higher life expectancy is not a valid discussion . There are multiple factors which are interconnected with each other for the final result.
For example, financial stability, better social connections and outreach, better education reach, better healthcare infrastructure and availability and better digital communication are some of the few factors. These factors in totality work to help to maintain and sustain a better life among the different caste ad classes in the society.
But one more important thing which is debatable is that of gender life expectancy. As we all know irrespective of social and economical factors women are more prone to stress and discrimination. Their excess to facilities and opportunity is less, despite these across all groups women perform better than men.
In males, the highest expectancy is present in the upper class of 69.4 years in 2013-16 as compared to 62.9 in 1997-2000. Whereas, ST men have at least 62.4 years in 2013-16 which was 54.5 in 1997-2000. But if we compare the life expectancy from 1997-2000 to 2013-16, then it has shown improvement across all the sections of the society.
As we know that life expectancy is calculated by child mortality, but the study shows that the mortality is very varied between the age group of 15-60 in different social groups.
Although the data also suggests that the expectancy is lowest in North Indian states. Like Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh and Chhattisgarh. In these states, life expectancy is low in all social groups. But in Northeast India, ST has the maximum life expectancy as compared to the upper class and other castes.
The study says “Social differences in longevity in India are exceptionally large in the context of global health disparities”.