The average life expectancy in Russia has for the first time exceeded 72 years, deputy prime minister Olga Golodets said on Monday.
According to data from the federal statistics agency Rosstat, the average life expectancy reached 72.4 in the first half year of 2017, she was cited as saying by the state-run RIA Novosti news agency.
She attributed the new figures to a lower death rate, which in the first six months of this year was 12.9, compared to 13.2 in the same period last year.
Despite reaching the benchmark, Russia still lags behind many other countries. In 2015, the life expectancy in the United States was 78.8 and German citizens reached on average 80.7 years of age, statistics from the OECD show.
New plans laid out by the Russian government aim to raise the life expectancy to 76 years across the country by 2025.
In 2015, the OECD attributed Russia's slow increase in life expectancy to “the impact of the economic transition in the 1990s and a rise in risk-increasing behavior among men,” including heavy drinking and smoking.