Life expectancy fell less because “Portugal is the third most aged country in the European Union”
Portugal is the third most aged country in the European Union and this explains why, during the pandemic, life expectancy has dropped less in Portugal than in the average of the 27 member states moving forward, at Renaissance Henrique de Barros, President of the Institute of Public Health of the University of Porto (ISPUP).
According to a report released this Monday by the OECD, together with the European Commission, life expectancy between 2019 and 2021 fell by one year and two months, an average of 27. But in Portugal, the decline was seven months .
Despite being apparently positive data at first reading, the president of the ISPUP recalls that “the way we calculate life expectancy depends, above all, on the moment in which you die. If we die at very early ages, we lose many years of life expectancy.”
Along with Italy, Portugal is one of the most aged countries in Europe.
“Since the deaths that occurred in Portugal were, above all, of people over 70 years old, and even, in the vast majority, over 75 years old, naturally the life expectancy of this group of people contributes with relatively few years, compared to countries that have a younger population”, says Henrique de Barros.
Portugal is one of the most respected countries for the so-called “demographic winter”, and this is one of the reasons for a smaller decline in life expectancy during a pandemic.
Even so, Henrique de Barros underlined that, in Portugal, the fight against Covid-19 among the younger population was a success.
“It is not just by chance that people died later in Portugal. The health service, and our entire response model, has been able to save lives at younger ages. older people. So there’s a demographic effect here, but there’s also an effect of success in responding to the disease,” he explains.
This Monday, the “Health at a Glance” report reveals that, since World War II, there has not been such a sharp decline in European life expectancy.