Among the 29 analyzed by Scientists from the University of Oxford Countries (in Europe as well as in the United States and Chile), life expectancy fell by 27 in 2020. This, of course, is the impact of the coronavirus pandemic and the associated excessive mortality.
The survey shows Poland is at the forefront of countries where life expectancy has fallen the most, especially among men. As for the life expectancy of a man at birth, Poland – with United States of AmericaLithuania and Bulgaria – lost here about 1.5 years. These calculations go hand in hand with data from a recent publication GusAccordingly, the life expectancy of a man (at birth) in 2020 was 72.6 years compared to 74.1 years a year earlier.
As for the life expectancy of a 60-year-old man, Poland lost more than 1.4 years after the USA and Spain, according to an Oxford analysis. GUS data shows that the average life expectancy for a 60-year-old in 2020 was 17.9 years, compared to 19.3 years a year earlier.
A decrease in life expectancy was also recorded among women – both in Poland and in most of the countries analyzed. However, usually (with the exception of Spain, Slovenia, Estonia and Northern Ireland) the magnitude of this decrease was less than that of men.
Overall, male life expectancy has fallen by more than a year in 15 countries. Among women, such a deterioration was recorded in eleven countries.
Increases in life expectancy between 2019 and 2020 were only recorded in Denmark Norway (for both sexes) and in Finland (for women only).
According to the analysis of scientists from Oxford University, before the pandemic (specifically – in 2015-2019 on average), life expectancy was increasing in all 29 countries. This shows the scale of devastation caused by the coronavirus pandemic around the world. As the study authors note, in the case of Western European countries, such a decrease in life expectancy has not been recorded since the Second World War, and in the case of Eastern European countries – since the collapse of the Soviet Union.
Our study results show how devastating the COVID-19 pandemic has been for many countries
– Says Dr. Radhi Kashyap, one of the study’s authors, quoting Reuters.
What does life expectancy say?
Life expectancy – whether at birth or at a certain age – is calculated on the basis of the so-called mortality conditions of the population in a given year. So, for example (based on the GUS table) – a boy born in 2020 will live on average 72.6 years, provided that the “mortality pattern” remains unchanged. In turn, a man who lived to the age of 60, on average, would have to live – according to mortality statistics for 2020 – 17.9 years to live.
Life expectancy can be called a purely synthetic statistical indicator that in 2020, in conditions of increased mortality, it decreased significantly, but with the return of the situation to normal, it should instead return to the previous trends of the epidemic. However, it does illustrate how severe the consequences of the pandemic are for the demographics of many developed countries.
Suffice it to note that in the 2020 pandemic, life expectancy for Polish and Polish women has returned to levels nine to several years ago (depending on gender and age). It can be said that the pandemic wiped out about ten years of medical progress, the elderly care system and other factors that contributed to the increase in the life expectancy of Poland’s population. It looks only slightly better on average for the countries studied by Oxford scientists. According to their analysis, on average, the COVID-19 pandemic has thwarted nearly 5.5 years of progress in reducing deaths.
The unexpected consequence of the decline in life expectancy in Poland has been the increase in new grants annuities. This indicator is taken into account when calculating the amount of the accrual. In general, the shorter the expected period for which the pensioner will receive benefits, the higher the pension on which such a person can rely.
A demographic tsunami passed through Poland
In 2020, about 480,000 people died in Poland. About 70 thousand people. (about one-sixth) more than in previous years. The wave of coronavirus in the spring of 2021 raised these dramatic indicators to unimaginably more dramatic proportions. During the past 12 months (from September 2020 to the end of August this year), about 539,000 people died in Poland. About 130,000 people. More (more than 30%) than in previous years.
Eustostat calculates that in the period from March to December 2020 alone, the excessive death rate in the entire European Union was about 580 thousand. The World Health Organization estimated for the previous year that although it ended with about 1.8 million deaths of people infected with the Coronavirus worldwide, the excess death rate was at least 3 million.
Currently, the number of dead people infected with the Corona virus around the world has exceeded 4.7 million.
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