The life expectancy of Belgians continues to rise and the gap between men and women is narrowing, according to new data published by the federal statistics office on Thursday.
Overall, the figures show that Belgians' life expectancy at birth in 2018 rose to 81.5 years, or to 83.7 years for women and 79.2 years for men — representing a slight overall increase of 0.1 years in comparison to 2017.
The gap between men and women's life expectancy is slowly narrowing, standing at 4.5 years in 2018 in comparison to 6.3 years in 1998.
In regional terms, residents in Flanders have the longest life expectancy, which at 82.3 years, is slightly higher than the Belgian average, and above that in the Brussels-Capital Region (81.5 years) and in Wallonia (79.9 years).
The biggest progression in life expectancy was observed in the Brussels-Capital Region, which increased by 132 days overall and by 229 for males in the region. By comparison, life expectancy in Flanders grew by 43 days.
The most modest increase was observed in Wallonia, where life expectancy increased by only 15 days, and life expectancy for females born in 2018 decreased by 18 days.
At a provincial level, the Flemish Brabant and Limburg have the highest life expectancy, of 82,7 and 82,6 years respectively, while some provinces like Namur, Liège or Luxembourg are well below the national average.
The Brussels Times