imago images / Chris Emil Janßen

Life expectancy in Flanders continues to rise among men

Among men there is still room for improvement experts say, but among women life expectancy is hardly growing at all nowadays. A decade ago women were living five years longer on average than men.  Today the figure is four years.

Figures from the Care and Health Agency show figures for men have improved since 2014.  Among women there is little headway.  A girl born in 2017 is now expected to reach the age of 84.  For baby boys the figure is 80.

On a more sombre note 61,861 people died in Flanders in 2017.  It’s the highest figure in 30 years. The figure is due to the aging of the population and more and more deaths can be expected. Take the growth of the population and aging into account and mortality figures are really down.  Advances in lifestyle and medicine mean Flemings are living longer despite cardiovascular threats and cancer.

Men still have a bigger chance of dying of cancer than women.  Past smoking habits are largely to blame. Cardiovascular ills are more likely to mean the end for women.  These are diseases of old age and as women get older more prevalent. The same goes for diseases of the brain and nervous system, Parkinson and dementia.

In 2017 978 Flemings committed suicide.  This works out at nearly three a day.  Since 2,000 the figure has fallen by a quarter. The 45-59 age category is giving most cause for concern as suicide figures for this category are hardly falling.