Life Expectancy at Age 35 or 65 Depending on the Socio-Professional Category

Life Expectancy at Age 35 or 65 Depending on the Socio-Professional Category

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Socio-professional categories (SPC) are not equal in terms of life expectancy. The harder the job, the shorter the life expectancy.

Life expectancy, which reflects mortality and morbidity (prevalence of diseases), helps highlight health inequalities that characterize different social categories. Belonging to a social environment determines in part living conditions as well as individual behaviours, which in return have an impact on health at every age.

Life expectancy at age 65 according to social background
Source: ONS Longitudinal Study

More qualified employees live longer, especially “HMP” women who, in the United Kingdom, have a life expectancy at age 65 of 22.5 years against 20.3 years for men. For the less favoured socio-professional categories, such as “routine”, the life expectancy at age 65 is 19.4 years for women and 16.4 years for men.

These differences are the result of a set of factors: working time and conditions, diet, attention given to the body and lifestyle in general (alcohol and tobacco consumption, etc.). Quality and accessibility to the healthcare system are only a secondary factor. Besides, in the UK, a woman from the “Routine” category has almost the same life expectancy at age 65 as a man working as a “HMP”: 19.4 years for her and 20.3 for him. With the growing attention given to health, diet and hygiene, life expectancy at age 65 is expected to keep on increasing.

Life Expectancy at Age 65 in Belgium

As in the UK, higher social categories in Belgium have a better life expectancy. However, gaps are smaller: there is only a 2.5-year gap between women from the most and least favoured categories. The gap is wider for men: approximately a 4-year gap between higher and least-favoured categories.

Life expectancy at age 65 by social category
Source : DGS-Registre national, ESE 2001

Life expectancy at age 35 in France

Since there is not much data on life expectancy at age 65 in France, we are using the figures of life expectancy at age 35.

Life expectancy at age 35 according to socio-professional categories
Source : Insee – © Observatoire des inégalités

As in countries mentioned earlier, highly qualified employees live longer. Executive women have a life expectancy at age 35 of 53 years, against 49 years for men. For harder jobs like those of the workers’ category, life expectancy at age 35 is of 49.8 years for women and 42.6 years for men.

Since the 70s, life expectancy at age 35 has increased by an average of 5.5 years for women and by 6.7 years for men. This increase, which has been beneficial to both favoured categories and less favoured categories, is due to improved working conditions, shorter working time, improved quality of life and higher qualifications.

Source: Seniosphère Conseil


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