While life expectancy increased by at least two to three years over the decade from 2001 to 2011 in all European Union (EU) countries, a new report shows that these gains have slowed down significantly in many countries since 2011.
According to the Health at a Glance: Europe 2018 report, life expectancy increased by less than half a year in some countries between 2011 and 2016, with the slowdown attributed to periodical increases in mortality rates among elderly people due partly to influenza, and a slowdown in the rate of reduction of deaths from circulatory diseases.
Life expectancy decreased in eight EU countries in 2012 and in 19 countries in 2015, including in France, Germany, Italy and the UK.
The report, published by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development and the European Commission, also highlights how significant disparities in life expectancy persist by gender and socioeconomic status.
On average, a 30-year-old man with a low level of education can expect to live about eight years less than those with a university degree or equivalent. The “education gap” among women is narrower, at about four years.
The main causes of mortality across EU countries remain circulatory diseases and cancers.