Losing Ground - Swedish Life Expectancy in Comparison with Other Countries

Sven Drefahl, Stockholm University

Sweden had long been the country with the lowest mortality rates in the world among young individuals and was among the top three countries for total life expectancy. In the past two decades this pattern has changed considerably and Sweden and the other Nordic countries are quite rapidly losing ground in relation to other leading countries. We examine age group specific contributions to life expectancy differences between Sweden and some of the leading countries and their changes over time for men and women. First results suggest that Sweden is still one of the very leading countries in terms of infant, child, and early adult mortality but that mortality above age 60 and especially at the old age is considerably lacking behind other leading countries at an increasing distance. In a second step we analyze the role of the unique Swedish smoking pattern and different causes of deaths in shaping these differences.

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Presented in Session 146: Mortality Trends and Differentials