Spain saw biggest fall in life expectancy in the EU in 2020.
WHILE life expectancy fell in most European countries last year, Spain recorded the largest decrease of 1.6 years compared to 2019.
In 2019, life expectancy in Spain was 84 years and in 2020 the figure dropped to 82.4 years, similar to the 82.5 years estimated in 2012.
It was closely followed by Bulgaria, down 1.5 years, and Lithuania, Poland and Romania, all down 1.4 years.
According to data from Eurostat, official statistics reveal that life expectancy has risen, on average, by more than two years per decade since the 1960s.
However, the latest available figures suggest that life expectancy stagnated or even declined in recent years in several EU Member States.
But the Covid outbreak last year has had a big impact, and life expectancy at birth fell in the vast majority of European countries, according to 2020 data.
Men were slightly more affected in the majority of countries, with the largest decreases in life expectancy (of males) recorded in Bulgaria, down 1.7 years, Latvia and Poland (both down 1.5 years) as well as Spain and Romania (down 1.4 years).
Life expectancy at birth is the average number of years that a newborn child would live if subjected to current mortality conditions (the death rates observed for the current period) throughout the rest of their life.
Eurostat pointed out, however, that it should be kept in mind that the life expectancy is a period indicator of mortality, indicating the average life span in a population subject to the mortality rates of the selected period of time.
This means that the values estimated above for the life expectancies in the year 2020 would apply if the mortality conditions observed in 2020, including the COVID-19 pandemic, continued.