On average, 65-year-old men have 11 healthy years ahead of them

29/09/2009 15:00

Life expectancy is increasing. This applies to both genders, but the extra lifetime is not always spent in good health.

In 1990, 65-year-old men, on average had 14.7 years ahead of them, of which 9.7 years in good health. The corresponding figures for 2007 were 17.4 and 11.2 years. Life expectancy increased more rapidly than healthy life expectancy. For 65-year-old women, healthy life expectancy did not change at all, despite an average life expectancy increase of 1.5 years.

The number of years 65-years-olds spend in good health varies with their education level. On average, higher educated men can expect to live 3.6 years longer than that their lower educated counterparts. With respect to healthy life expectancy, the gap is even wider, namely 5.6 years. A similar picture emerges for lower and higher educated women: 3.2 and 6.3 years respectively.

Life expectancy and healthy life expectancy of 65-year-olds by education level, 1997-2005

Life expectancy and healthy life expectancy of 65-year-olds by education level, 1997-2005

Ferdy Otten