Happy life expectancy: an indicator to measure the impact of The Great Recession in Italy

Cecilia Tomassini, Università degli Studi del Molise
Viviana Egidi, Sapienza Università di Roma
Kaare Christensen, University of Southern Denmark and Odense University Hospital
Carlo Lallo, Free University of Bozen-Bolzano

The impact of The Great Recession on the psychological wellbeing of the Italian population has been widely debated among researchers, policy makers and media. In order to better understand the influences of the crisis on the feelings of the Italian population we propose the happy life expectancy in order to measure the impact of the crisis by sex and age. Using data from the Health Survey for Italy carried out in 2004 and 2012 and the official ISTAT life tables, using the Sullivan Method, we analyse the changes in life expectancy, healthy life expectancy and happy life expectancy between the two periods. Results show that women, despite the improvements in life expectancy and healthy life expectancy, may expect to live less years happy (except for those aged over 60) and in general, the proportion of life spent in a happy mode has decreased. On the contrary, men incremented their happy life expectancy between 2004 and 2012 and they may expect to live a higher proportion of life happy after age 60. These results confirm other studies that shows how the crisis hit young and adult people more strikingly than older people.

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Presented in Session 100: Analyzing life expectancy and lifespan: factors and methods