OECD Papers on Well-being and Inequalities

This series features working papers on the measurement agenda for well-being, inclusion, sustainability and equal opportunity as well as papers seeking to deepen the understanding of the drivers of these issues, the ways in which they interact and how they evolve. These papers are prepared by OECD staff, external experts or by outside consultants working on OECD projects.


Educational inequalities in longevity among OECD countries around 2016

This study examines inequalities in life expectancy by educational status, age-standardised mortality rates, and age-at-death, using high-quality linked and supplementary unlinked data from 25 OECD countries in 2013-19. Absolute gaps in life expectancy at age 25 between high and low education groups are on average equal to 5.2 years and 8.2 years for women and men, respectively. Deaths of despair among women and men aged 25-64 contribute on average 7% and 11% to the total gap in life expectancy between high and low education groups, respectively. Comparing identical country-sources to the previous analysis, absolute gaps in life expectancy at age 25 have increased by 0.5 year and 0.4 year on average for women and men between 2011 and 2016.


Keywords: longevity, death of despair, health inequality, life expectancy, socio-economic gradient
JEL: I18: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Health: Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health; I14: Health, Education, and Welfare / Health / Health and Inequality
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