Photo description: Food bank in Den Bosch, providing relief to 646 clients. This is one of the food banks in operation as part of the Dutch Food Banks Association. Food banks work entirely on the basis of contributions and donations from private citizens, foundations, associations and companies. They supply food baskets to families living below the poverty threshold.

Life expectancy

Life expectancy says something about the expected length of life, based on mortality rates. In 2016, the Dutch population had an average life expectancy at birth of 81.7 years. How wide is the gap between men and women, and how does the Netherlands compare to other EU countries? What about the healthy life expectancy?

Meetlat-13-levensverwachting_ENG BG L T L V RO HU PL EE HR CZ DK EU DE SI SK UK P T GR BE FI NL IE A T SE M T C Y FR L U I T ES 81.0 y e a r s 81.7 y e a r s L i f e e xpe c t a n cy a t b irt h , 2016

In 2016, average life expectancy at birth in the European Union stood at 81.0 years. Spain (83.5 years) and Italy (83.4 years) have the highest life expectancy. At 74.9 years, inhabitants of Bulgaria, Latvia and Lithuania fall six years short of the EU average. Dutch life expectancy at birth stood at 81.7 years in 2016.

Average life expectancy in the European Union is 83.6 years for women versus 78.2 years for men. The life expectancy of Dutch men is almost two years higher than the EU average, namely 80.0 years. At 83.2 years, female life expectancy is close to the EU average.

Relatively low healthy life expectancy of Dutch women

People are getting older, but do they grow old in good health? Healthy life expectancy refers to the projected number of healthy life years, for example without being hindered by health problems in one’s day-to-day activities.

Both Dutch men and women report such problems relatively often, but (young) women more so. Healthy life expectancy (at birth) among Dutch women is 57.8 years, well below the EU average of 64.2 years. Healthy life expectancy among European women ranges from 54.9 (Latvia) to 73.3 years (Sweden).

Among Dutch men, healthy life expectancy is 62.8 years, close to the EU average of 63.5 years. Men from the Baltic countries have the lowest healthy life expectancy at birth, while Swedish men have the highest.

57.8 years healthy life expectancy of Dutch women in 2016
64.2 years was the average in the EU

Sources

Eurostat – Life expectancy by age and sex

Eurostat – Healthy life years (from 2004 onwards)

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Explanation

Explanation of symbols

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* Provisional figure
** Revised provisional figure
2018-2019 2018 to 2019 inclusive
2018/2019 Average for 2018 to 2019 inclusive
2018/’19 Crop year, financial year, school year, etc., beginning in 2018 and ending in 2019
2016/’17-2018/’19 Crop year, financial year, etc., 2016/’17 to 2018/’19 inclusive

Due to rounding, some totals may not correspond to the sum of the separate figures.

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