Table 1

The population health impact of educational differences in mortality and morbidity in the EU-25 in 2004

Total EU-25 population: observed rates and numbers (1)Total EU-25: estimates assuming rates of higher educated (2)Impact of health inequalities (1)– (2)
Death rate0.010090.008550.00154
Absolute number of deaths (1000)46333926707
Total years of life lost (1000)NANA11364 ††
Prevalence rate of ‘fair/poor’ health§0.3970.3240.073
Absolute number of cases (1000) 18221214874533468
In ‘fair’ health12685710355623300
In ‘poor’ health553564518810167
Life expectancy at birth78.6580.49−1.84
Expectancy of life in fair/poor health**31.2226.095.14
  • Source of observed mortality rate: Eurostat website. Mortality rates for the higher educated were derived from the observed mortality rate in the whole population and a mortality rate ratio of 1.36 comparing lower educated and higher educated.

  • Absolute numbers were obtained by multiplying rates or years by the total population size of EU-25 in 2004 (=458 973 000).

  • § Source of observed morbidity rate: Eurostat website. Prevalence rates for the higher educated were derived from the observed morbidity rate in the whole population and the prevalence rate ratio of 1.45 comparing lower educated to higher educated.

  • Source of observed life expectancy: Eurostat website. We interpolated estimates available for 2000 and 2005. Life expectancy for the higher educated was derived from the same data as described in note.

  • ** Estimated on the basis of life expectancy and the prevalence of ‘less than good’ health.

  • †† The total years of life lost were estimated by multiplying the total number of deaths due to inequalities (707 000) by an estimate of the average number of years of life lost per death (16.06 years).