What is Healthy Life Expectancy?

Women live, on average, 2.6 years longer than men, with a life expectancy of 85.3 years for women and 82.7 years for men. Not only do women live longer, but they also enjoy a greater number of healthy years, with 79.8 years of good health compared to 77.9 years for men. Life expectancy at birth is a measure of how long, on average, a newborn can expect to live if current mortality rates remain unchanged. However, the actual mortality rate for any particular birth cohort can only be known in hindsight.

If mortality rates are decreasing, real life expectancy will be higher than the life expectancy calculated using current mortality rates. Life expectancy at birth is one of the most commonly used indicators of health status and is presented as a total and by gender, measured in years. It has increased over time due to a variety of factors such as an increase in the standard of living, improved lifestyle and education, and greater access to quality health services.Healthy life expectancy (HLE) is an alternative measure of population health that is more intuitive and meaningful to people since it reflects how long they can expect to live in good health. Compared to mortality and morbidity rates, HLE is a more relatable indicator that people can identify with.