Healthy life expectancy decreases among all educational levels
Despite life expectancy rising for the middle- and higher-educated people in the Netherlands, healthy life expectancy dropped among all educational levels; the Volkskrant reported based on figures by Statistics Netherlands. The life expectancy for people with a lower education remained the same.
All educational levels saw a decrease in the number of years spent in good health, also known as healthy life expectancy. People with a middle-educated experienced the most substantial decline from 65.9 years in 2007 to 64.7 years now.
For lower-educated people, the years in good health fell from 57.4 to 56.9 and for higher-educated from 72 years to 71.2 years in the past 14 years.
People with middle-education live on average around 82 years in the Netherlands compared to 80.8 years in 2007. The life expectancy for people with higher education rose from 82.7 to 83.9 in the same period.
The life expectancy for people with a lower education remained around 79 years. People with a lower education often work in jobs that are physically taxing.
The decline in the number of years in healthy life expectancy affects debates around raising the retirement age. It could also mean that older people will require medical assistance sooner, causing healthcare costs to rise.
The current retirement age of 67 years will be reevaluated in 2027.