I was helping out DW with a uni assignment and did some research on the GDP of countries vs. life expectancy at birth. As you might imagine, countries with a very low GDP per capita (less than US$10K pa) generally have lower life expectancies than the wealthier nations. Even so, there are some countries with a low GDP per capita that do better than others - I guess you're better off living on an impoverished tropical island than a war-torn part of northern africa! The chart below shows the relationship between GDP and life expectancy. One thing it does show is that increasing GDP per capita has little effect once you get above $10K-$15K pa.
Copyright Enough Wealth 2007