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People in Halland live the longest - and in Norrland the shortest

Published tisdag 29 november 2016 kl 16.06
The distance to the nearest hospital may affect people's life expectancy, as does diet and lifestyle.
The distance to the nearest hospital may affect people's life expectancy, as does diet and lifestyle. Credit: Stina Stjernkvist/TT

Women in Halland live on average two years longer than women in Västernorrland. And women in Sweden in general live almost four years longer than men, according to the latest data from Statistics Sweden.

Last year, men in Sweden lived on average 80.3 years, while women on average made it to 84 years. This is an increase by a year for men, and 0.6 years for women, compared to 2011. Compared to other countries in Europe, the life expectancy is increasing relatively slowly, but that is because many other countries start from a lower average.

Of Sweden's 21 regions, Halland and Kronoberg on the west coast, have the highest life expectancy, while Norrbotten, Västernorrland and Gävleborg in the north, as well as the island of Gotland off the east coast, are expected to live the shortest.

The differences in the occurrence of cardiovascular diseases is one explanation to this, says Örjan Hemström from Statistics Sweden.

"Often the cardiovascular diseases can be tied to diet and lifestyle. How much you exercise, what you eat - and whether you smoke. But differences in health care in the different regions could also be important. Like the distance to emergency health care for example. We know that people in northern Sweden have further to go to get to hospitals," Hermström told Swedish Radio News.

Over time life expectancy increased for men as well as women when the data from 2011-2015 is compared to the numbers from the previous period 2006-2011. But there is one exception. Women on Gotland on average live 0.8 years shorter in the latter period, compared to the previous period. The most positive development can be seen among men in Värmland and Kronoberg, whose life expectancy went up by 1.2 years in the second period compared to the first.

For people in the capital life expectancy is significantly higher than the rest of the country.

"I think this is because the region of Stockholm has the highest proportion of people with a higher education. And we know that this has an effect on the life expectancy: the higher education, the lower mortality, and the longer life expectancy," says Örjan Hemström.

Life expectancy for men (män) and women (kvinnor), by county (län), 2011 - 2015

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