I have just ran into this article that says , Life Expectancy Varies Based on Your Income.

It struck a chord with me, and I mentally took a look at the applicability of that statement as regards daily existence on Nigeria.

Does having more or less money translate into the likelihood of living longer in a place like Nigeria?

I would say… it depends.

Whereas the rich would have access to better medical care, can eat better, live in better, (secured) neighborhoods, buy more comfort, there are other factors that could actually make the poor live longer.

Let’s examine the pros and cons.

Photo  courtesy -

Photo courtesy –


When you are rich, and can afford to eat anything you wish, you could end up consuming the wrong stuff (an overrich diet). I once attended lunch for senior executives at a Nigerian bank years back, and I asked myself in wonder if people actually feed like this daily. As someone who has always been careful about my nutrition, the mountainous cornucopia of things people were consuming at that single meal (provided daily for senior staff) would definitely overburden the digestive system. And I was sure it was not THE right way to eat.

The rich often eat like a King, and that’s the irony because it could actually shorten their lifespan. A simple spartan meal is often better for the body than a mountain of many kinds of food lumped together at a single meal.


The rich would likely have servants and assistants to do almost every imaginable thing for them, except perhaps help them poop. The result is that while the poor would likely be more physically fit (they trek more, wash their own clothes by hand, wash their rickety car – can’t afford the car wash, cook their own food, etc), the rich hardly need to lift a finger as their money does all the running for them. The result is that the very rich are likely to, unless they consciously guard against this, be obese, live a more sedentary life, because they are simply more physically more idle than their poorer folks. The day to day physical struggle to survive and get things done ensures that the poor do not need to register in a gymnasium to work off excess fat or tone idle muscles during the weekend due to lack of enough exercise.
Conversely, while the poor would spend periods at bus stops inhaling noxious fumes while waiting for an Okada or bus, the rich would be padded in air-conditioned comfort. While the poor is more prone to be knocked off an Okada, or have a spine dislocated while being tossed about riding commercial morocycles over bumpy roads, the rich have no such concerns. And while the poor would kill themselves spending hours queueing for fuel or Kerosene, the driver of the rich is saddled with that task, or the rich can obtain in minutes from the Black market what a sufferman would queue for numerous hours (and overnight!) to obtain.


The rich man has plenty to worry about . He is the one whose child could be targeted and kidnapped for ransom. He could be kidnapped himself!. The poor man has no such worries. All these can lead to elevated blood pressure, and premature death . The rich man in the rich neighborhood is more likely to be attacked by armed robbers, as he is a note attractive candidate, or waylaid while cruising about in his padded SUV, with the likelihood of his life being cut off abruptly.


All in all, it is not quite clearcut if an abundance of money is a guarantee to a longer life. But all factors held constant (unfortunately all factors can never be held constant!), a rich man would live a lot longer than the poorer counterpart. It is why the life expectancy in the more advanced industrialised countries is generally far higher than in the very poor African countries.

Money does not buy happiness, yes. Buy it looks like it does buy more years of life on earth.

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