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    Life expectancy continues to rise in Belgium

    © Belga
    © Belga

    Average life expectancy at birth increased slightly in Belgium last year, rising to 81.4 years, 0.1% higher than in 2016, according to the Belgian statistical office, Statbel. Since topping the 80-year mark in 2010, the country’s life expectancy figures have kept increasin each year, except for 2015, when it was 0.17 less than in 2014.

    In 2017, women had an average life expectancy of 83.7 years and men 79 years.

    The 2017 averages were higher in France, which had a life expectancy of 85.3 years for women and 79.5 years for men, according to the Institut national de la statistique et des études économiques (Insee – National Institute of Statistics and Economic Studies).

    Life expectancy per region in Belgium was highest in Flanders (82.2 years), followed by Brussels (81.2 years) and Wallonia (79.8 years). However, Wallonia registered the highest increase last year, gaining 82 days (0.22 year) for the two sexes combined. In Flanders the increase was just 18 days and in Brussels-Capital Region 10 days.

    Statbel’s tri-annual figures for 2015-2017 also provided a breakdown per province. Men and women in Flemish Brabant had an average life expectancy at birth of 82.42 years, followed by people in Limburg (82.40), West Flanders (82.00) and Antwerp (81.97).

    On the other hand, the provinces of Luxembourg (79.83 years), Liège (79.64), Namur (79.42) and Hainaut (78.85) were below the national average.

    Jason Bennett
    The Brussels Times