The graph above charts life expectancy at birth across both sexes from 1960 to 2009. Life expectancy was at its lowest in 1960 and rose to its highest point in 1990. However, it then decreased by nine years between 1990 and 2010, and has since dropped to 51.61 years. This contrasts with the global trend towards increased life expectancy.
HIV/Aids is still prevalent in South Africa: 34.8 per cent of all deaths in the country can be attributed to HIV/Aids and tuberculosis. In 2010, the health minister, Aaron Motsoaledi, suggested that if the spread of the disease were not halted, national life expectancy would drop to under 50.