Life expectancy has seen a decline in Greece and Cyprus at -1.1 and -0.6 respectively according to Eurostat, whilst countries like France, Italy and Malta see increases at +0.2, +0.6 and +0.6.
Life expectancy at birth has been increasing over the past decade in the EU with official statistics revealing that life expectancy has risen, on average, by more than two years per decade since the 1960s. However, the latest available data suggest that life expectancy stalled or even declined in several EU Member States. Some Member States (mostly in Western Europe) saw their life expectancy rebound towards pre-COVID levels, while others (mostly in Eastern Europe) suffered the impact of the pandemic later and fully in 2021, therefore any rebound is yet to be reflected in the data.
According to preliminary 2021 data, the COVID-19 pandemic that started in 2020 has had a negative effect with life expectancy at birth declining in almost half the EU Member States in 2021. The largest decreases have been estimated in Slovakia and Bulgaria (-2.2 years compared with 2020), followed by Latvia (-2.1) and Estonia (-2.0).
Compared with the pre-pandemic year of 2019, the overall effect on life expectancies is still negative in all EU Member States except Luxembourg (+0.1), Malta and Sweden (same level in 2019 and 2021). In some cases, life expectancies have further worsened in 2021, leading to an estimated overall loss of more than 2 years.