Life expectancy increased again, but corona can lead to decline

Life expectancy in the Netherlands increased in the past year for men by 4 months to 80.5 years and for women with 3 months to 83.6 years. However, the annual increase in life expectancy could be thwarted by the coronavirus. The Central Bureau of Statistics (CBS) reports this on the basis of new research. Policy makers use life expectancy figures to determine the future AOW pension age.

The increased life expectancy in 2019 by 4 months for men and 3 months for women is higher than on average in the previous seven years. Then the increase was at 2 months and 1 month respectively.

Compared to the average life expectancy in the EU, the Dutch woman is 4 months lower, and the Dutch male average is 2 years higher.

More mortality

Life expectancy is rising every year so far, but higher mortality from coronavirus may lead to life expectancy not rising further this year and perhaps even falling.

In the spring of 2020, more people died than average due to coronavirus, estimated nearly 9000 more, according to CBS. The impact of this on life expectancy is not yet clear and depends on developments in the rest of the year.

The CBS has calculated a few scenarios. With higher mortality in spring, but fewer deaths in autumn, life expectancy is expected to be approximately the same in 2020 as in 2019. However, with higher mortality in autumn, life expectancy will decrease by a few months. In a black scenario, with a second wave of double mortality, life expectancy will fall by about a year, to the 2010 level.