EU life expectancy plummeted due to COVID-19, data shows


Life expectancy at birth was 80.4 years in the EU in 2020, 5.7 years higher for women (83.2 years) than for men (77.5 years).

According to data from the European Statistical Office, Eurostat, life expectancy at birth fell by 0.9 years in 2019, with this decline linked to sudden deaths caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In addition, the data shows that the decrease in life expectancy has affected men (1.0 years) more than women (0.8 years), reports

This year’s rates resemble those of 2013 for men, with the average life expectancy being 77.5 years, while for women the life expectancy in 2020 was 83.2 years, the same than five years ago. However, life expectancy fell by 1.27% for men throughout 2020, while for women it fell by 0.9%.

Among the countries with the highest life expectancy, France, Spain, Italy and Greece have the highest rates. Specifically, the highest life expectancy was recorded in the French island of Corsica (84 years), followed by the Balearic Islands in Spain (83.9 years) and the Epirus region of Greece (83 ,3 years).

However, this was not the case for Bulgaria, which recorded the lowest life expectancy in the EU. The life expectancy at birth recorded in Bulgaria depends on the region, as shown in the following:

  • Northwest (72.1)
  • North-Central (72.8)
  • North and south-east Bulgaria (72.9)

These rates exceed the average life expectancy at birth in EU regions by 10.6 percent, with the average life expectancy in all regions of Bulgaria being 72.6. In contrast, the average life expectancy for men and women in the EU for 2020 is 80.35 years.

Among EU territories, women live longer in the French island of Corsica, with their life expectancy rising to 87 years, followed by the Spanish region of Galicia (86.7). Two French regions (Loire and Midi-Pyrénées), the Åland Islands in Finland and the Epirus region in Greece, record the same female life expectancy; 86.4 years old.

In contrast, the highest levels of male life expectancy at birth were recorded in the region of Epirus in Greece, the region of Umbria in central Italy and the Balearic Islands in Spain, all amounting to 81.4 years.

In general, we notice that Western and Northern Europeans have a higher life expectancy compared to the Eastern part, especially in countries like Bulgaria, Romania, North Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina.

According to the United Nations, the global average life expectancy in 2019 was 72.6 years, with countries like Hong Kong (85.29), Japan (85.03) and Macau (84.68) having the expected highest life.


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