ABUJA, April 2 (Xinhua) -- Overall life expectancy in Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation, has dropped to 52.2 years, according to the latest data by the National Population Commission (NPC).
In a statement reaching Xinhua in Abuja on Tuesday, the NPC confirmed that the overall life expectancy in the country has dropped by three years.
Data by the World Health Organization (WHO) in 2018 had put the total life expectancy in Nigeria at 55.2 years and a World Life Expectancy ranking of 178.
Life expectancy refers to the average number of years that a newborn is expected to live if current mortality rates continue to apply, according to WHO.
The NPC said people aged 60 years and over currently represents less than five percent of Nigeria's entire population. "As you may be aware, Nigeria's estimated population is currently at over 198 million with an annual growth rate of 3.2 percent," said the statement by Hassan Bashir, acting head of the NPC.
"The total fertility rate remains at 5.5 per woman; 63 percent of the entire population is under the age of 25; 42 percent is under the age of 15 years," the statement said.
Fifty percent of the female population in Nigeria is in the reproductive years, the statement noted, saying 54.8 percent of the population constitutes the working age.
The statement said Nigeria had recently concluded the field work of its national demography and health survey in 2018 and while it awaits the outcome of that survey, early and child marriage still persists.
Available data indicated that unintended and unwanted pregnancies were common as 23 percent of the adolescent girls aged 15 to 19 years have commenced reproduction, according to the statement.
This situation, the statement further noted, had put women, especially young girls, at risk of maternal death which stands at 576 deaths per 100,000 live births.