Life expectancy gender gap narrowing

Life expectancy for girls born in the Netherlands in 2008 was 82.3 years, 4 years higher than for boys (78.3 years). Since 1980, the life expectancy gender gap has narrowed. Men’s life expectancy has improved by 5.8 years, women’s by 3.1 years. The explanation is the significantly lower mortality rate: despite the ageing population, mortality has declined annually in the period 2002–2007

Life expectancy, change over the period 1996–2006 (in years) 1)

Life expectancy, change over the period 1996–2006 (in years)

Dutch girls rank lower on the European list

On the European life expectancy list, Dutch girls have dropped from 6th to 12th place between 1996 and 2006. They have extended their life expectancy with only 1.5 years in the period 1996–2006. Boys gained 3.0 years and rose from 5th to 4th place. Life expectancy for Dutch boys is now approximately the same as for Spanish boys, but life expectancy is distinctly higher for Swedish and Italian boys.

The lowest places on the life expectancy list are held by men and women in the Baltic states. Latvian boys had a life expectancy of 65 years in 2006 and although Latvian girls live more than 11 years longer (76.3 years), their life expectancy is the lowest of all women in the EU 25.

Arie de Graaf