Well-educated women have highest life expectancy

18/11/2008 15:00

Highly educated men have a life expectancy at birth of 79 years, as against 72 years for poorly educated men. Female life expectancy is higher, i.e. 84 years for well-educated women against 78 years for lorwer educated women.

Life expectancy at birth, 1997/2005

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Poorly educated have shorter healthy life expectancy

Lower educated people not only live shorter lives, their healthy life expectancy is shorter too. On average, men with only primary education enjoy no more than 50 years in good health, whereas well-educated men have a healthy life expectancy of 69 years. Higher educated people also have more years ahead of them without physical discomfort and chronic diseases than lower educated people.

Healthy life expectancy at birth, 1997/2005

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Healthy life expectancy gender-neutral

Although women on average become older than men, healthy life expectancy is the same for both genders. As a result, women enjoy a shorter period of good health during their lifetime.

Lower educated older people face physical problems earlier in life

The differences in life expectancy between higher and lower educated are found across all age categories. Poorly educated over-65s have on average 9 healthy years ahead of them as opposed to 14 years for their higher educated counterparts. With respect to healthy life expectancy and life expectancy without chronic diseases, higher educated people are also more fortunate.

Jan-Willem Bruggink, Mohammed Kardal, Bob Lodder