Life expectancy of Dutch men has risen sharply

In 2011, life expectancy at birth for Dutch women was 82,9 years and for Dutch men was 79,2 years, according to Statistics Netherlands. The difference in life expectancy between men and women has decreased significantly, primarily because male life expectancy has risen sharply.

Over the period from 1985 to 2011, the life expectancy of Dutch men increased faster than that of Dutch women. Between 1985 and 2000, life expectancy at birth for men rose by 2,5 years compared to only 0,9 years for women. After 2000, life expectancy kicked into a higher gear: from 2000 to 2011, male life expectancy rose by 3,6 years, while female life expectancy rose by 2,3 years.

In most European countries the life expectancy of women has increased faster than in the Netherlands. 30 years ago, Dutch women had one of the highest life expectancies in Europe, but by 2010, their life expectancy had fallen behind compared to most countries in North, South and Western Europe.

Meanwhile, Dutch male life expectancy got longer and longer, and at the moment ranks 6th in Europe behind Switzerland, Sweden, Italy, Spain and Norway.

The rapid increase in male life expectancy is closing the gap between men and women. In 2011 this difference was just 3,7 years, whereas in the mid 80s it was still over 6,5 years.

Within Europe, this is relatively small, and in fact the difference is only smaller in Sweden and the UK. On the other hand, in Eastern European countries, the difference is significantly larger, and is highest in Lithuania at 11 years.

Carly Blair


Carly Blair



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