Research report 2015 - Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

A long-term perspective on the evolution of social life-expectancy differentials

Willführ, Kai P.; van Hedel, Karen; Myrskylä, Mikko
Arbeitsbereich Bevölkerung und Gesundheit, Max-Planck-Institut für demografische Forschung, Rostock
In almost all welfare states, life expectancy has been rising across the social strata, but more rapidly so in the higher social classes, resulting in remarkable life-expectancy differentials between the lower and the higher social classes over time. Contributing factors are not only poorer life and working conditions of the lower social classes, but also different smoking, drinking, and dietary habits. Analyses of historical data indicate that social life-expectancy differentials emerged as late as in the 18th and 19th centuries.

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