OREANDA-NEWS. In 2015, almost 27 million people aged 80 or over (hereafter "elderly people") were living in the European Union (EU), 7 million more than in 2005. An increase in both their absolute number and their share in total population is observed in nearly every EU Member State. The rising share of elderly people in the EU (from 4.0% in 2005 to 5.3% in 2015) means that in 2015 one in every 20 persons living in the EU was aged 80 or over. The ageing of the population structure is, at least partly, the result of an increasing life expectancy, which grew at the age of 80 from 8.4 years in 2004 to 9.5 years in 2014.

Although their proportion shrank between 2005 and 2015, women still accounted for around two-thirds of elderly people in the EU. This overrepresentation of women among people aged 80 or over is observed in all EU Member States.

On the occasion of the International Day of Older Persons, celebrated each year on 1st October, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, publishes demographic indicators on elderly people living in the EU. An interactive tool on the lives of people aged 65 or over in the EU is also available on the Eurostat website.

People aged 80 can expect to live the longest in France

At EU level, life expectancy at the age of 80 stood at 9.5 years in 2014. People aged 80 in 2014 could expect to live at least 11 years more in France, followed by Spain (10.4 years), Luxembourg (10.1 years) and Italy (10.0 years). At the opposite end of the scale, the lowest life expectancy at the age of 80 was recorded in Bulgaria (7.0 years), Romania (7.6 years), Croatia (7.7 years), Hungary and Slovakia (both 7.9 years). This means that there is a 4-year gap across the EU as regard life expectancy at the age of 80.

Compared with 2004, life expectancy in the EU at the age of 80 rose by 1.1 year in the last decade (from 8.4 years to 9.5 years). A similar trend is observed in all Member States, with gains in life expectancy ranging from a bit over half a year in Sweden (0.6 year), Bulgaria, Hungary and Finland (all 0.7 year) to more than one and a half years in Romania (1.9 year), Estonia, Spain and France (all 1.6 year).