Latvia still bottom of EU "healthy life years" table

In 2020, the number of healthy life years at birth in the EU was 64.5 years for women and 63.5 years for men. Unfortunately Latvians can expect to enjoy a considerably shorter period in the pink.

In fact, Latvia comes bottom when compared to its EU peers with figures of 54.3 years for women and 52.6 years for men – a full decade behind the EU average and around two decades behind the leading nation, Sweden.

Life expectancy at birth for women in the EU was, on average, 5.7 years longer than that for men in 2020 (83.2 years compared with 77.5 years). In Latvia the difference was less than two years.

Eurostat healthy life years, 2020

Among the EU Member States, Sweden recorded the highest number of healthy life years at birth in 2020 for women (72.7 years), followed by Malta (70.7 years) and Italy (68.7 years). The highest numbers for men were also recorded in the same three countries: Sweden (72.8), Malta (70.2) and Italy (67.2).

"In contrast, Latvia had the lowest number of healthy life years for both women (54.3 years) and men (52.6 years). Extreme values can be partly explained by the way activity limitation is measured in the country, impacting the results to some extent," said Eurostat of its figures, published June 13.

The number of healthy life years at birth was higher for women than for men in 20 of the EU Member States, with the difference between the sexes generally relatively small. In seven EU Member States, the gap was more than 2 years, with the largest differences recorded in Bulgaria (+4.2 years), Estonia (+4.1 years) and Poland (+4.0 years). 

At the opposite end of scale, the number of healthy life years for women was lower than for men in six EU Member States. The largest differences were observed in the Netherlands (-2.8 years), Portugal (-2.1 years) and Finland (-1.8 years). 

Latvia has been bottom of the EU healthy life years table for several years now, as previously reported by LSM, and also have among the shortest total life expectancy.

Healthy life years in EU member states, 2020
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