Trends in life expectancy by education and marital status in Sweden 2000-2014

Örjan Hemström, Statistics Sweden

The aim of this study is to analyze trends in life expectancy by education and marital status in Sweden 2000–2014. A number of questions are raised. Have there been any changes in differences in life expectancy between educational and marital status groups? What is the contribution from specific age groups to life expectancy change in different groups? Have increased educational attainment in the Swedish population contributed to increased survival in the population? Administrative registry data for the Swedish-born population 30 years and older was used in the study. Life expectancy at age 30 increased for women and men in all educational groups. There was a gradient in the size of the survival improvement. The group with compulsory education only had the smallest increase in life expectancy and those with a post-secondary education had the greatest increase. The gap in life expectancy between these two groups increased with about one year for both sexes, from 4.3 to 5.2 years for women and from 4.8 to 5.7 years for men. An age-specific analysis revealed that survival did not improve in a number of age groups in those with compulsory education: age 30–34, 45–54 and 60–64 for women and age 30–44 for men. Life expectancy at age 65 increased for both sexes in all educational and marital status groups, but differences between groups widened between 2000 and 2014. The greatest increase was observed in the married and divorced groups and the smallest was found for those with a compulsory education. The life expectancy increase at age 30 and 65 was greater for women and men in total than for the group with post-secondary education. This supports the hypothesis that increased educational attainment in the population enhance survival in the population.

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Presented in Session 93: Socioeconomic differentials in mortality