Sunday, November 7, 2010

Are you richer than royalty?

Below is a list of all the monarchs of England from Edward IV (born 1442) to Oliver Cromwell (died 1658), along with their ages at death:

Edward IV: 40
Edward V: approx 12
Richard III: 32
Henry VII: 52
Henry VIII: 55
Edward VI: 15
Jane Grey: 16
Mary I: 42
Philip II of Spain (married to and co-reigned with Mary I): 71
Elizabeth I: 69
James I: 58
Charles I: 48
Oliver Cromwell: 59

Edward VI, who managed to make it to 15 before dying of fever

The average life span for these monarchs adds up to 43.7 years. How does this compare with the modern world? Here are the five countries with the lowest life expectancy as listed in the CIA World Handbook:

Nigeria: 47.24
Afghanistan: 44.65
Mozambique: 41.37
Angola: 38.48
Haiti: 29.93

The Handbook estimates the average world life expectancy as 66.12. To give a second source, the 2010 UN Human Development Index lists the bottom four as follows:

Central African Republic: 47.7
Zambia: 47.3
Zimbabwe: 47
Lesotho: 45.9
Afghanistan: 44.6

It estimates the world life expectancy at 69.3. This means that almost every population in the world can expect longer life spans than the kings and queens of England from the 15th to 17th centuries.

All but the poorest people in the world have healthier lives today than the monarchs of old! That is one to quote when people complain about how hard life is today; modernity has brought drastic improvements in health and security to nearly every corner of the world. In life expectancy at least, we are almost all richer than historical royalty.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.