Assessing population health on the basis of healthy life expectancy in 16 European countries: Educational inequalities and the impact of the population structure
Markus Sauerberg1
1Vienna Institute of Demography, Austrian Academy of Sciences
    Healthy life expectancy (HLE) is a prominent tool for evaluating
    the level of population health across Europe. The
    measure, however, varies strongly between educational
    subpopulations and European countries differ substantial regarding
    their educational population composition. For this reason, looking
    at total HLE values, i.e., the average over all educational
    subpopulations, might not be appropriate. We demonstrate this by
    providing HLE estimates for 16 European countries by educational
    attainment (women and men separately) in accordance with the
    Sullivan method. While the prevalence for being limited in
    daily activities is obtained from the European Union Statistics on Income and Living
    Conditions (EU-SILC), mortality data comes from the Eurostat
    database. We compare total HLE with education-specific HLE values
    with respect to a country's health status. The results suggest that
    total HLE can lead to misleading conclusions. We conclude that
    education-specific HLE is more meaningful and should be preferred if
    data allows.