Life expectancy at birth in the European Union (EU) was estimated to be on average 80.9 years in 2017, reaching 83.5 years for women and 78.3 years for men, a difference of 5.2 years.
The latest figures published by the statistical office of the European Union (Eurostat) show that this greater life expectancy among females is a constant factor in all the Member States. However, the numbers also prove that the gap between both sexes varies noticeably.
The largest differences between the two sexes are in Latvia (where women live 9.9 years longer), Lithuania (9.8 years) and Estonia (8.8 years). On the contrary, the smallest differences between men and women in terms of life expectancy have to be found in Sweden (3.3 years) and in the Netherlands (3.2 years).
The gap in Finland
Finland, once more, is placed around the middle of the table, performing slightly worse than the average. In the country of ice and snow, women live on average 5.6 years more than men. This is because Finnish women's life expectancy at birth is 84.5 years, while men's is 78.9 years. So Finland appears at the table that measures this gender gap placed in between Spain (where the gap is 5.5 years) and Slovenia (5.8 years).
The fact that Finnish women have such a long life allowed the country to show a total average for both men and women of 81.7 years, which is higher than the EU-28 average (80.9 years).
Where do people live the most?
The EU Member State with the highest total life expectancy is Spain (83.4 years, with 86.1 for females and 80.6 for males), followed by Italy (83.1 years) and Sweden (82.5). Under the EU average can be found Bulgaria (74.8 years), Latvia (74.9), Romania, (75.3), Lithuania (75.8), Hungary (76), Slovakia (77.3), Poland (77.8), Croatia (78), Estonia (78.4) and Czechia (79.1).
Life expectancy at birth, as defined by the EU, is the mean number of years that a person can expect to live at birth if subjected to current mortality conditions throughout the rest of their life. It is a commonly used indicator for analysing developments in mortality.