Life expectancy (i11)

  •  17/10/2022
  • objective  
  •  assessment 

In 2021, life expectancy at birth in Belgium was 80.8 years. To achieve the sustainable development goal by 2030, this figure must not decrease. Between 2000 and 2020, the trend is favourable (assessment of November 2021).

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Life expectancy - Belgium and international comparison

years at birth

 1990199520002005201020152016202020212021//19902021//20162021//2002
Belgium76.277.077.979.180.381.181.580.881.90.20.10.2
EU27------78.479.880.580.980.480.1---0.20.2
//: Average Growth Rates

break in time series: BE 2011; provisional estimate: BE 2020, EU 2018 and 2019

Statbel; Eurostat (2022), Mortality and life expectancy statistics [demo_mlexpec, sdg_03_10], https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 30/05/2022).

Life expectancy by region - Belgium

years at birth

 199019952000200520102015201920202020//19902020//2015
Brussels-Capital Region77.076.878.079.080.280.981.679.40.1-0.4
Flemish Region77.377.778.679.981.282.183.082.10.20.0
Walloon Region75.475.876.577.678.879.880.980.00.20.1
//: Average Growth Rates

Statbel; Eurostat (2022), Mortality and life expectancy statistics [demo_mlexpec], https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 30/05/2022).

Life expectancy by sex - Belgium

years at birth

 1990199520002005201020152016202020212021//19902021//2016
females79.580.481.081.983.083.484.083.084.40.20.1
males72.773.574.676.277.578.779.078.679.50.30.1
//: Average Growth Rates

break in time series: 2011; provisional estimate: 2020

Statbel; Eurostat (2022), Mortality and life expectancy statistics [demo_mlexpec], https://ec.europa.eu/eurostat (consulted on 30/05/2022).

Definition: Life expectancy at birth expresses the number of years people would live if they were subjected throughout their life to the mortality conditions observed at the time of their birth. In Belgium, the death probability, which is used to measure life expectancy at birth, is calculated on the basis of the National Registry of Natural Persons (–Statistics Belgium, 2019). Statistics Belgium collects the data in Belgium and makes them available, in particular to Eurostat. The data used here come from Eurostat, which publishes detailed and comparable results among EU Member States.

Goal: life expectancy must not decrease.

The Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs adopted by the UN in 2015 include goal 3: “Ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all at all ages.” As good health results in longer life expectancy, it is considered that there is an implicit aim that life expectancy must not decline.

International comparison: life expectancy developments in Belgium and in the European Union are parallel, with Belgium's life expectancy (81.9 years) being slightly higher than that of the EU27, which reached 80.1 years in 2021. When Member States are divided into three groups, Belgium is part of the group with average performance and outperforms the European average in 2021. In that year, Ireland ranked first with 82.6 years and Bulgaria last with 73.6 years.

UN indicator: the selected indicator does not correspond to any monitoring indicator for the SDGs but is related to goal 3 since life expectancy is a measure of the overall population health.

Sources

  • General

    • SDGs, Sustainable Development Goals: United Nations (2015), Transforming our world: the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 25 September 2015, document A/RES/70/1.

    • Indicators: United Nations (2017), Work of the Statistical Commission pertaining to the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Resolution adopted by the General Assembly on 6 July 2017, document A/RES/71/313.

    • UN Sustainable Development Knowledge Platform: https://sustainabledevelopment.un.org/ (consulted on 24/09/2020).

    • Sustainable Development Goal indicators website: https://unstats.un.org/sdgs/ (consulted on 24/09/2020).
  • Specific

    • Statistics Belgium (2019), Tables de mortalité et espérance de vie, http://statbel.fgov.be (consulted on 24/09/2020).

More information is available in French and Dutch.