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07.03.23 | Statistik
Women live longer than men in the Nordic region – but the gap in life expectancy is narrowing as men’s health and living conditions improve. Women experience, to a higher extent than men, that their lives are limited by poor health and they are more absent from work due to illness.

Life expectancy at birth

Definition: Life expectancy at birth is how long, on average, a newborn can expect to live if current death rates do not change

The gender gap on life expectancy in the Nordic region favours women - as in the rest of Europe. Heightened focus on men's physical and mental health can be seen as the reason behind the gap narrowing in recent times.

Limitations due to health problems

Definition: Self-perceived limitation in activities due to one or more health problems.

Women in the Nordics experience more severe and moderate limitations due to health problems than men. At the same time, women have longer life expectancy and live longer in poor health than men. This impacts life conditions in old age and limits opportunities for work and social life. The Nordics are ahead of the EU average, but gender differences remain.  


Men die by suicide more frequently than women, while women more often report having suicidal thoughts. These gender differences in behavior exist throughout the Nordic region. Constricting gender stereotypes can be linked to poor mental health for both men and women.

Absence from work due to illness

Women are more absent from work due to illness than men. This overrepresentation can be partially explained by differences in working conditions for women and men and by occupational segregation. Women also shoulder a larger share of unpaid and childcare work.