Life expectancy advantages of high education: a comparison between Sweden and Lithuania

Domantas Jasilionis, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Dmitri A. Jdanov, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Evgueni Andreev, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Vladimir Shkolnikov, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research

The majority of studies on mortality inequalities traditionally focus on unfavorable position of lower socio-economic groups and magnitude of the differences. The center of attention in this paper is directed towards the high education group showing the lowest mortality. The study looks more closely at the age- and cause- specific mortality patterns determining advantages of high education group against low education group in Sweden and Lithuania. Great attention in this study is also paid to the specifics of age- and cause-specific mortality pattern of high education group in Lithuania. We look at potentials and disadvantages of this group by comparing mortality patterns of males and females with high education in Lithuania to the corresponding group in Sweden. Our results suggest that there are some similarities in patterns of cause-specific contributions to the life expectancy advantage of high versus low education groups in Lithuania and Sweden. However, both high and low education groups in the two countries seem to be very different in terms of age patterns of mortality. Lithuanian males both with high and low education show a striking importance of premature mortality due to external and alcohol-related deaths. These findings also point to common risk factors affecting all population groups in the society. Taking into account that the most recent recovery in mortality has been mostly driven by high education group, persisting elevated premature mortality may lead to diminishing contributions of this group to improvements in male life expectancy in Lithuania.

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Presented in Session 85: Socio-Economic Differences in Mortality