The U.S. spread in the range of life expectancy from the high to the low education group is somewhat larger than the average European spread for both men and women (see Table 9-2). For men this occurs because average life expectancy for U.S. men in the highest education group is higher than that in the European countries, while life expectancy in the lowest education group is identical. Women in each educational grouping in the United States have lower life expectancy than the average for European

TABLE 9-2 Life Expectancy at Age 65 (Years) by Level of Education in Selected European Countries and the United States

Country

High Ed.

Middle Ed.

Low Ed.

High-Low/Middle-Low

Males

Finland

15.7

14.6

14.2

1.5/0.3

Denmark

15.8

14.5

13.8

2.1/0.7

Ireland

17.8

16.0

14.1

3.7/1.9

Austria

17.5

16.3

13.6

3.8/2.7

Belgium

16.2

15.2

13.4

2.8/1.8

Greece

19.2

17.2

15.8

3.4/1.4

Italy

19.0

15.3

16.7

2.3/-1.3

France

19.4

18.5

16.4

3.0/2.1

Spain

19.4

18.4

16.4

2.9/2.0

Portugal

18.7

16.7

14.8

3.8/1.9

European Average

17.9

16.3

14.9

2.9/1.3

United States

18.3

15.1

14.9

3.4/0.2

Females

Finland

18.9

18.6

18.3

0.6/0.3

Denmark

17.9

17.4

17.2

0.8/0.3

Ireland

21.0

20.1

18.3

2.7/1.8

Austria

21.4

21.1

18.4

3.0/2.7

Belgium

20.8

20.7

19.1

1.7/1.6

Greece

20.6

19.4

18.1

2.5/1.3

Italy

22.1

19.6

20.8

1.3/-1.2

France

23.8

23.9

21.7

2.1/2.2

Spain

22.3

22.0

20.4

1.9/1.6

Portugal

21.4

20.6

18.5

3.0/2.2

European Average

21.0

20.4

19.1

1.9/1.3

United States

20.4

18.2

17.9

2.5/0.3

NOTES: Educational classification: For Europe, low is lower secondary education; middle is upper secondary education; high is tertiary or vocational and university education. For the United States, low is 0–8, middle is 9–12, and high is 13+ years. The European equivalent categories would be 0–11, 9–15, and 16+ years.

SOURCES: Data for European countries from Majer et al. (2010); data for United States from Molla et al. (2004).



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