Life Expectancy In The Czech Republic Reaches Record of 77 For Men, 83 For Women

The gradual increase in life expectancy in the Czech Republic was reversed during COVID-19, as mortality rates rose in the epidemic. Credit: Freepik.

Prague, Dec 1 (CTK) – Life expectancy in the Czech Republic has begun to rise again after dropping during the COVID-19 pandemic; according to preliminary data, life expectancy could reach 77 years for men and 83 years for women this year, exceeding the pre-pandemic record from 2019, Michaela Nemeckova, a demographer at the Czech Statistical Office (CSU), told a press conference yesterday.

CSU published a projection of demographic development until 2101, predicting that life expectancy in the Czech Republic could be extended by almost 12.5 years for men and more than 9.5 years for women by the end of the century.

According to the development of life expectancy, the retirement age for people in their fifties should be recalculated every year, as foreseen in the draft pension reform.

The gradual increase in life expectancy in the Czech Republic was reversed during COVID-19, as mortality rates rose in the epidemic. While in 2019, life expectancy was 76.3 years for men and 82.1 for women, it dropped by 1 year for men and 0.7 for women in the first COVID year of 2020.

The year before last, life expectancy fell to 74.1 years for men and 80.5 years for women. Last year, however, it started to increase again. The figure has thus returned to 2018 levels, but still has not matched pre-COVID highs.

“Preliminary data suggest that life expectancy should increase year-on-year and surpass the 2019 values, which were the highest so far,” Nemecková said.

Life expectancy could be 77 years for men and 83 years for women. According to the demographers, the new CSU projection does not foresee the coronavirus epidemic having a long-term impact on life expectancy.

The projection assumes three scenarios: a low, pessimistic one, the most likely medium one, and the highest optimistic one.

Under the medium scenario, life expectancy by mid-century could extend by more than five years for men, to 82.2 years, and by about four years for women, to 87.1 years. Nemecková pointed out that some developed European countries are already seeing such figures. “The basic premise is getting closer to the developed countries,” the demographer said.

At the end of the century, life expectancy in the Czech Republic could reach 89.4 years for men and 92.6 years for women. According to Nemeckova, the longer lives will be mainly due to a reduction in mortality in older age groups.

Economists and other experts say that with an ageing society and longer lives, the pension system is unsustainable without reforms. An increase in the retirement age is expected to slow down the sharp rise in spending and deficits. Depending on life expectancy trends, people who are just turning 50 should have their retirement age reset every year for the next few years. Under the proposed pension amendment, they would have their retirement age rise to 65.

According to data from the CSU database, 50-year-old men had an average of 27.7 years ahead of them in 2015, and women 32.6 years. Four years later, in 2019, the remainder-of-life expectancy for men in their fifties was 28.4 years and for women in their fifties, it was 33.3 years. Thus, the life expectancy of 50-year-olds has increased by about eight months in five years. The proposed new calculation would therefore postpone their retirement age by about that much between 2015 and 2019, ie. by about one to two months a year. The age limit is already rising – by two months every year for men and usually four months for women.

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