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Eurostat: COVID-19 cuts Europeans’ life expectancy. People live the longest in Spain, Switzerland, Italy and Sweden

Life expectancy at birth “has been increasing over the past decade in the EU: official statistics reveal that life expectancy has risen, on average, by more than two years per decade since the 1960s. However, the latest available data suggest that life expectancy stagnated or even declined in recent years in several EU Member States”. This is according to a research by Eurostat on the demographic situation in the EU which shows that “following the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic last year, life expectancy at birth fell in the vast majority of the EU Member States”. Life expectancy at birth, Eurostat clarifies, is the average number of years that a newborn child would live if subjected to current mortality conditions throughout the rest of their life. A chart provided, for instance, shows that life expectancy for Italians was 83.1 years in 2015, increased to 83.6 in 2019, and then went down to 82.4 in 2020. The largest decreases in life expectancy were recorded in Spain (-1.6 years compared with 2019) and Bulgaria (-1.5), followed by Lithuania, Poland and Romania (all -1.4). Men were slightly more affected in the majority of the EU Member States with available 2020 data, with the largest decreases in life expectancy recorded in Bulgaria (-1.7 years), Latvia and Poland (both -1.5 years) as well as Spain and Romania (both -1.4 years). Current data show that the countries with the highest life expectancy are Spain, Switzerland, Italy and Sweden.

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