Estonia's life expectancy fell by 2 years in 2021 — Eurostat

A pensioner.
A pensioner. Source: Siim Lõvi /ERR

Life expectancy at birth fell by two years last year in Estonia, new data from Eurostat shows. This was the fourth-largest drop in the European Union.

The biggest falls were seen in Slovakia and Bulgaria, which saw a decline of 2.2 years, followed by Latvia with 2.1 years and Estonia at two years.

Looking at the wider region, Lithuania's life expectancy fell by 0.6 years, there was no change for Finland and Sweden saw an increase of 0.8 years.

"According to preliminary 2021 data, the COVID-19 pandemic that started in 2020 has had a negative effect with life expectancy at birth declining in almost half the EU Member States in 2021," Eurostat said in a statement.

Life expectancy at birth has been increasing over the past decade in the EU with official statistics revealing that life expectancy has risen, on average, by more than two years per decade since the 1960s.

However, the latest available data suggest that life expectancy stalled or even declined in several EU Member States.

"Some Member States (mostly in Western Europe) saw their life expectancy rebound towards pre-COVID levels, while others (mostly in Eastern Europe) suffered the impact of the pandemic later and fully in 2021, therefore any rebound is yet to be reflected in the data," the agency wrote.


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Editor: Helen Wright

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