Published: 28 October 2016

Average life expectancy at birth was 78.5 years for boys and 84.1 years for girls in 2015

According to Statistics Finland, life expectancy at birth was 78.5 years for boys and 84.1 years for girls last year. Compared with 2014, the life expectancy of boys grew by 0.4 years and that of girls by 0.3 years. Life expectancy is an age-standardised indicator that describes the level of mortality observed during the calculation period.

Life expectancy of newborns by gender in 1971 to 2015

Life expectancy of newborns by gender in 1971 to 2015

Men were catching up with women in life expectancy

The difference between genders in life expectancy, 5.6 years, has narrowed in recent decades. During the last 30 years, the life expectancy of newborn boys has lengthened by 8.5 years and by 5.6 years for girls. The difference between genders in life expectancy was last this small in the 1930s. The difference between genders was largest in life expectancy in the late 1970s when it was nine years.

The life expectancy of men aged 65 was 18.1 years and that of women aged 65 was 21.6 years in 2015. During the last 30 years, the life expectancy of men aged 65 has lengthened by 5.2 years and for women aged 65 by 4.4 years.

Median age at death 76.8 years for men and 85.3 years for women

In 2015, the median age at death for men was 76.8 and for women 85.3 years. In 1980, the corresponding median age at death was 68.2 years for men and 75.4 years for women.

The median age at death probably best describes the age distribution of deaths. The median age at death shows at what age the middlemost dead person dies if persons who have died were placed in order of age. So one-half of all persons that died either died at a younger or older age than the median age at death.

Regional differences in life expectancy narrow slowly

The life expectancy of newborns during the period 2013 to 2015 was longest for girls born in the region of Ostrobothnia, 85.3 years, and shortest for boys born in the region of Etelä-Savo, 76.3 years. During the period 2013 to 2015, life expectancy has risen in all regions and for both genders compared with the 1993 to 1995 period. Men's life expectancy grew most, by over six years, in Päijät-Häme, Lapland and North Karelia. Women's life expectancy went up most, by over four years, in North Ostrobothnia, South Ostrobothnia and Kainuu.

Men's life expectancy has risen nearly everywhere more than women's, which has narrowed the differences between genders in life expectancy. However, men's life expectancy is still shorter than women's in all regions. Between 2013 and 2015, the difference was biggest in South Karelia, 7.6 years, and smallest in Åland, 4.5 years.

The differences between regions in life expectancy have narrowed down only a little. In the period 1993 to 1995, the life expectancy of a boy born in Ostrobothnia was over four years longer than that of a boy born in North Karelia – the life expectancy of a girl born in Åland was nearly 11 years longer than that of a boy born in North Karelia. In 2013 to 2015, the life expectancy of a newborn boy in Etelä-Savo was four years shorter than that of a boy from Åland, and nine years shorter than that of a girl from Ostrobothnia. The differences between regions in women's life expectancy were smaller for both periods than the differences in men's life expectancy.

Finnish boys' life expectancy average in comparison with EU countries

Based on Eurostat's 2014 statistics, in the EU 28 countries the life expectancy of boys was longest in Cyprus, 80.9 years, in Italy, 80.7 years and in Sweden, 80.4 years. The life expectancy of boys was shortest in Latvia, 69.1 years and in Lithuania, 69.2 years. Finnish boys' life expectancy was the 16th longest, or average for EU countries.

In a similar examination, the life expectancy of girls was longest in Spain, 86.2 years, in France, 86.0 years and in Italy, 85.6 years. The shortest life expectancy for girls was found in Bulgaria, 78.0 years, and in Romania, 78.7 years. Finnish girls fared better than Finnish boys in the comparison, as the life expectancy of Finnish girls was, based on Eurostat's 2014 statistics, the ninth longest among the EU 28 countries.

According to Eurostat, the difference between genders in life expectancy in Finland, 5.7 years, was the 13th biggest of EU countries in 2014. The difference was smallest in the Netherlands, where women's life expectancy was 3.5 years longer than that of men, and in the United Kingdom, where the difference was 3.7 years. The difference was biggest in Lithuania, 10.9 years and in Latvia, 10.3 years.


Source: Deaths 2015, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Eevi Lappalainen 029 551 3367, info@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

Publication in pdf-format (262.6 kB)

Tables

Tables in databases

Appendix tables

Figures
Quality descriptions

Updated 28.10.2016

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Deaths [e-publication].
ISSN=1798-2545. Annual Review 2015. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 22.5.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/kuol/2015/01/kuol_2015_01_2016-10-28_tie_001_en.html