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5.6.2024 | Estonia

Life expectancy in Estonia reaches all-time high

Text Mark Taylor
Photo Andrei Chertkov

Life expectancy in Estonia reaches all-time high

 

According to data just released by Statistics Estonia, the average life expectancy in the country was 79 years in 2023. This is the highest result ever and puts Estonia ahead of the other two Baltic countries. However, there was a slight decrease in the number of healthy life years.

“Life expectancy decreased during the coronavirus pandemic but is now rising again and has already surpassed the 2019 level,” said Eveli Voolens, the social statistics team lead at Statistics Estonia.

Life expectancy in Estonia is still below the European average which is 81.5 years based on preliminary data. “Among the Baltic countries, Estonia has the highest life expectancy: it is 79 years in Estonia, 77.3 years in Lithuania, and 75.9 years in Latvia,” said Voolens.

However, in neighbouring Finland, life expectancy is much higher than in Estonia at 81.7 years. In Europe, life expectancy is the highest in Liechtenstein, Switzerland, and Spain – a little over 84 years. It is the lowest in Bulgaria and Latvia, where life expectancy remains below 76 years.

“Looking at countries across Europe, the Baltic countries are notable for the big difference in male and female life expectancies. In Estonia, life expectancy is 83.1 years for women and 74.5 years for men,” explained Voolens.

 

 

Decrease in number of healthy life years

2023 data shows that Estonian residents have 58 healthy life years. Compared with 2022, the number of healthy life years has decreased by 1.2 years. Men live disability-free for 56.4 years and women for 59.5 years. Year on year, the number of healthy life years has fallen slightly for both males and females.

“Based on this data, men have a lower life expectancy but they live a greater share of their life in good health. Healthy life years make up 75.7 per cent of male life expectancy. For females, healthy life years constitute 71.6 per cent of their life expectancy,” said Voolens.

 

Residents in Tartumaa and Harjumaa can expect to live the longest

Life expectancy for Estonians (79.6 years) is slightly higher than for non-Estonians (78.4 years). This difference has diminished in recent years.

Life expectancy also correlates with educational attainment. Women with higher education have a life expectancy of 86 years, while men with basic education can expect to live 68.3 years. The trend is the same for healthy life years: people with higher education have more healthy life years than people with basic or upper secondary education. Based on 2023 data, the expected number of healthy life years was 61.81 years for people with higher education and 48.6 years for those with basic education.

Regionally, life expectancy is the highest in Tartumaa and Harjumaa where it was 80.1 and 79.8 years, respectively. “Tartumaa is currently the only area where life expectancy is over 80 years. In 2019 and 2020, life expectancy in Harjumaa and Tallinn was also over 80 years, but their indicators have now fallen under 80,” said Voolens. She added that Ida-Virumaa has the lowest life expectancy at 75.8 years.

 

To learn more about this and similar topics
Female Life Expactancy Estonia Harjumaa Ida-Virumaa Life Expectancy Life Expectancy Estonia Male Life Expectancy Estonia Tartumaa

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