Life expectancy in good health

Germany jumps in European comparison rankings.

Dr. S-W – 02/2019

The average number of healthy life years at birth is 64.2 years for women and 63.5 years for men. This represents approximately 77% and 81% of the total life expectancy for women and men respectively. It can be said that the longer life expectancy for women (on average, 5.4 years more than men) often comes at the expense of quality of life.


Sweden has the highest number of healthy life years for both women and men at 73.3 and 73 years respectively, whereas Latvia has the lowest (54.9 and 52.3 years respectively). In Germany, the figure is 67.3 years for women and 65.3 years for men.


Thus, an important factor for the discussion over the statutory retirement age is the number of healthy life years past the age of 65. Here in Germany, a statistical miracle happened. Compared to the estimate for 2010, the number of healthy years in the 2015 estimate has risen by 3 years from approximately 9 years to approximately 12 years. The situation is similar with women. Looking deeper into the Eurostat figures, it is evident that this miracle took place between 2014 and 2015. For example, the healthy life expectancy of women in this period rose from 56.5 to 67.5 years, an increase of more than 10 years.