Life expectancy for European women is expected to be over 80 years in all EU member states by 2050. This was the headline life expectancy figure in a collection of statistics comparing men and women which was published by Eurostat to mark International Women’s Day earlier this month.
Women continue to enjoy a higher life expectancy than men in all member states. In the EU27 there was a difference of around 6 years in 2005 (81.5 years for women compared with 75.4 years for men), with the highest differences in Lithuania and Latvia (12 years) and lowest in Malta, the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and Sweden (4 years).
By 2050, life expectancy is expected to increase both for women and men but the gap between the sexes is expected to narrow. By 2050, the gap is expected to have narrowed to just 3 years in Denmark, Cyprus, Malta and Sweden but remain wider in newer members. It will be nearer 8 years in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, for example.
The difference is graphically illustarted on the table below.
One result of this higher life expectancy is that women made up 59% of those aged 65 years or more in the EU27 in 2005. This figure is expected to decrease to 55% in the EU27.
The fertility rate in the EU27 in 2005 was 1.51, with France (1.92), Ireland (1.88), Denmark, Finland and the United Kingdom (all 1.80) recording the highest rates. In Poland (1.24), Slovakia (1.25), Slovenia (1.26), Lithuania (1.27), the Czech Republic and Greece (both 1.28) the lowest rates were observed.