Tuesday 5/17/22
STATISTICS

EU life expectancy still below 2019 level, eastern Europe hit hard

Eurostat reported the worst declines in life expectancy in Slovakia and Bulgaria with decreases of -2.2 years
28 December 2021, Spain, Barcelona: Elderly people sit on a bench in the center of Barcelona. Photo: Jordi Boixareu/ZUMA Press Wire/dpa.
Elderly people sit on a bench in the center of Barcelona. Photo: Jordi Boixareu/dpa.

Life expectancy in the European Union in 2021 was still below pre-Covid-19 pandemic levels, the EU’s statistics office reported on Friday.

Eurostat reported preliminary data for 2021 that showed Covid-19 had "a negative effect with life expectancy at birth declining in almost half the EU Member States," in a year-to-year comparison to 2020.

Eurostat reported the worst declines in life expectancy in Slovakia and Bulgaria with decreases of -2.2 years, followed by Latvia at -2.1 years and Estonia at -2.0 years, compared to 2020.

In a second data comparison to 2019, before the outbreak of Covid-19 in Europe, Luxembourg was the only EU member state to see life expectancy increase at +0.1 years, Eurostat reported.

Life expectancy at birth in the EU member states. Source: Eurostat.
Life expectancy at birth variation in the EU member states in 2021. Source: Eurostat.

In the same pre-pandemic comparison between 2019 and 2021, Eurostat found no changes in life expectancy in Malta and Sweden but life expectancy is still negative for all other EU member states.

Expectancy at birth

The pre-pandemic data comparison shows life expectancy declined the worst in Bulgaria at -3.7 years, Slovakia at -3.0 years and Romania at -2.7 years, according to Eurostat data.

The EU statistics office defines life expectancy at birth as the average number of years that a newborn child would live if subjected to current mortality conditions for the entirety of their lifetime.

EU life expectancy still below 2019 level, eastern Europe hit hard
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