Life expectancy falls for both men and women in Germany

Life expectancy falls for both men and women in Germany

The Federal Institute for Population Research (BiB) has revealed that life expectancy in Germany has fallen. While the decrease in Germany was minimal compared to many other countries, several countries in northern Europe fared much better.

Decline in life expectancy for Germans

Germans are expected to live just a little less longer, according to the Federal Institute for Population Research in Wiesbaden. The Institute announced that, between 2019 and 2020, life expectancy fell by an average of 0,1 years for women and 0,3 years for men.

Germany’s life expectancy falling in the period between 2019 and 2020 suggests that coronavirus was directly responsible for the change. Particularly so, given that before the pandemic, life expectancy in Germany was following a positive trend: increasing by an average of 0,1 years, every year.

Pavel Grigoriev, head researcher at the BiB, explained that the life expectancy in Germany is not only influenced by coronavirus, but stated that the disease had a considerable impact in several countries around the world.

Regional differences

The BiB recorded “considerable regional differences” in life expectancy changes. For example, Schleswig-Holstein actually recorded an increase in life expectancy, and neighbouring Mecklenburg-Vorpommern also stayed above the national average.

On the other hand, Saxony and Bavaria both saw significant decreases in life expectancy, with Saxony experiencing a drop of 0,7 years for men and 0,5 years for women.

Germany shines in international comparison

Compared to other countries, life expectancy in Germany experienced a relatively slight decrease. The USA, for example, recorded a sharp drop in life expectancy, falling by 2,2 years for men and 1,7 years for women. Grigoriev explained that these numbers are unusual for a highly developed country. “They illustrate the danger that coronavirus can pose if few containment measures are taken.”

Similarly, life expectancy in Poland, Spain and Italy dropped by more than a year for both men and women. Only in northern Europe did life expectancy fall by a smaller amount in Germany; some countries, like Denmark, even recorded an increase.

According to BiB Research Director Sebastian Klüsener, Sweden was the only country in northern Europe to see a major drop in life expectancy. "Compared to the other northern European countries, Sweden had also taken fewer containment measures," Klüsener explained.

William Nehra


William Nehra

William studied a masters in Classics at the University of Amsterdam. He is a big fan of Ancient History and football, particularly his beloved Watford FC.

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