Infographic: How Inequality Is Cutting Lives Short (2024)

  • Topics
  • Global health


Lifestyle changes are often touted as the ultimate tool to living a longer and healthier life. While there is certainly a lot of truth to that, a study analyzing large national and other datasets on mortality in European countries has found that the effects of social inequality also have the power to shave years off our lives.

The meta-analysis found that Europeans with a high level of education on average lived 42.7 years between the ages of 35 and 80 (a concept called partial life expectancy). Europeans with a lower level of education meanwhile only lived an average of 41 years in that time period, showing that social inequality was cutting the life of lesser educated people short by 1.7 years.

A big part of this difference can be chalked up to unhealthy habits and their consequences that people with a lower level of education are simply more often subject to, for example smoking - associated with a decrease of partial life expectancy of up to one year - and a high body weight - associated with a loss of partial life expectancy of up to six months. But factors that are not easily influenced with enough willpower and awareness to change can also influence lifespans negatively, according to the study. Low income was associated with a loss of partial life expectancy of up to six months, while few social contacts cut lives short by up to three months, as did having a working class background, defined as having a father who works in a manual occupation.

Infographic: How Inequality Is Cutting Lives Short (1)

Katharina Buchholz

Data Journalist

Infographic: How Inequality Is Cutting Lives Short (2)

Infographic: How Inequality Is Cutting Lives Short (3)


This chart shows the mean decrease in life expectancy between Europeans with a high and a low level of education.


HTML code to embed chart

Can I integrate infographics into my blog or website?

Yes, Statista allows the easy integration of many infographics on other websites. Simply copy the HTML code that is shown for the relevant statistic in order to integrate it. Our standard is 660 pixels, but you can customize how the statistic is displayed to suit your site by setting the width and the display size. Please note that the code must be integrated into the HTML code (not only the text) for WordPress pages and other CMS sites.

+ Premium statistics Life expectancy at birth in the DACH countries 2021
+ Premium statistics Life expectancy in selected countries 2022
Life Expectancy - Men at the age of 65 years in the U.S. 1960-2021
Life expectancy in industrial and developing countries in 2023
Life expectancy at birth in Sub-Saharan Africa 2021
Life expectancy in Spain 2009-2022

Infographic Newsletter

Statista offers daily infographics about trending topics, covering:Economy & Finance, Politics & Society, Tech & Media, Health & Environment, Consumer, Sports and many more.

Related Infographics

Longevity Where Has Life Expectancy Increased?
Indigenous Peoples' Day Native Americans Still Face Significant Life Expectancy Gap
Aging in India Aging of the Population Accelerates in India
air pollution Where Air Pollution Is Cutting Lives Short
Housing crisis More Than 1,300 People Died While Homeless in 2022
Riots France's Social Divide
Retirement France Enjoys Comparably Low Retirement Age
Gender Equality Work and Home Divided Among Gender Lines in India
Population Fertility Rates in India Fall Across All Religious Groups
Natural Disaster Vulnerability vs. Resilience in Earthquake-prone Countries
Foreign Workers The State of the Foreign Workforce in Japan


  • The Statista "Chart of the Day", made available under the Creative Commons License CC BY-ND 3.0, may be used and displayed without charge by all commercial and non-commercial websites. Use is, however, only permitted with proper attribution to Statista. When publishing one of these graphics, please include a backlink to the respective infographic URL. More Information

  • The Statista "Chart of the Day" currently focuses on two sectors: "Media and Technology", updated daily and featuring the latest statistics from the media, internet, telecommunications and consumer electronics industries; and "Economy and Society", which current data from the United States and around the world relating to economic and political issues as well as sports and entertainment.

  • For individual content and infographics in your Corporate Design, please visit our agency website

Any more questions?

Get in touch with us quickly and easily.
We are happy tohelp!

Do you still have questions?

Feel free to contact us anytime using our contact form or visit our FAQ page.

Your contact to the Infographics Newsroom

Infographic: How Inequality Is Cutting Lives Short (22)

Felix Richter

Data Journalist +49 (40) 284 841 557

Infographic: How Inequality Is Cutting Lives Short (23)

Statista Content & Design

Need infographics, animated videos, presentations, data research or social media charts?

More Information

The Statista Infographic Newsletter

Receive a new up-to-date issue every day for free

Infographic: How Inequality Is Cutting Lives Short (24)

  • Our infographics team prepares current information in a clear and understandable format
  • Relevant facts covering media, economy, e-commerce, and FMCG topics
  • Use our newsletter overview to manage the topics that you have subscribed to

Infographic: How Inequality Is Cutting Lives Short (25)

Infographic: How Inequality Is Cutting Lives Short (2024)


Top Articles
Latest Posts
Article information

Author: Amb. Frankie Simonis

Last Updated:

Views: 5562

Rating: 4.6 / 5 (56 voted)

Reviews: 95% of readers found this page helpful

Author information

Name: Amb. Frankie Simonis

Birthday: 1998-02-19

Address: 64841 Delmar Isle, North Wiley, OR 74073

Phone: +17844167847676

Job: Forward IT Agent

Hobby: LARPing, Kitesurfing, Sewing, Digital arts, Sand art, Gardening, Dance

Introduction: My name is Amb. Frankie Simonis, I am a hilarious, enchanting, energetic, cooperative, innocent, cute, joyous person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.