Significant differences still remain in life expectancy

Women outstrip men in life expectancy by 12 years

By Yelena Prusova

According to preliminary data, life expectancy in Belarus reached 70.6 years in 2011 — rising by 0.2 years against 2010. In line with the new national programme for demographic security, the figure is set to reach 72-74 years by 2015. “In Belarus, a huge gap exists between the life expectancy of men and women: a difference of 12 years last year (against a natural difference of 5 years),” noted the Deputy Chair of Belarus’ National Statistical Committee, Yelena Kukharevich, speaking at a press conference. “Life expectancy in Belarusian men is 64.7 years — against 76.7 years in women.”

She explains that men are more likely to die than women at all ages but this is especially noticeable during the years of employability. In 2011, the mortality rate fell to 14.3 per 1,000 (against 14.4 in 2010). In recent years, over half of all Belarusians have died from heart attacks. Meanwhile, 13 percent have died from tumours and 10 percent have died from reasons unconnected with illness. Death from external reasons is higher in Belarus than in developed European countries.

As Ms. Kukharevich notes, over 32,000 (a quarter of those who died) were of employable age, comprising over 80 percent men. She tells us that the Republic boasts one of the lowest infantry mortality rates in the CIS — just 3.9 per 1,000 last year (against 4 in 2010). “Belarus is approaching the level of developed European countries in this respect,” she adds.

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