Increasing Social Inequalities in Life Expectancy in Sweden

Örjan Hemström , Statistics Sweden

The main objective of the study is to analyze social inequalities in life expectancy and its change in Sweden in recent years. Swedish administrative registry data is used for the period 2012–2018. Social groups included are educational attainment (compulsory, upper secondary, post-secondary) and household type (single, cohabiting, other). Conventional life-table calculations were performed from age 30. The analysis is restricted to persons born in Sweden. Changes in life expectancy by social groups was measured between 2012 and 2018. In 2012 the number of years remaining from age 30 was 52.0 years for women and 46.4 years for men who were single. It was about 3.5 years higher for women and 6.7 years higher for men who were cohabiting. Until 2018 the gap between these two groups increased to 4.1 years among women and 7.3 years among men. There was a clear gradient in life expectancy by educational attainment. The gap in life expectancy between lowest and highest educational attainment was 5.2 years among women and 5.1 years among men in 2012. The gap widened to 6.2 years and 5.8 years in 2018. The social group with highest life expectancy in 2012, those with a post-secondary education who were also cohabiting, had the largest increase in life expectancy. Life expectancy declined among some groups, such as single women with compulsory education. Social inequalities in life expectancy is increasing in Sweden. This holds for educational attainment as well as for household type.

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 Presented in Session P2. Poster Session Ageing, Health and Mortality