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Regional trajectories in life expectancy and life-span variation. Persistent inequality in two Nordic welfare states

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posted on 18.03.2019 by Ben Wilson, Sven Drefahl, Isaac Sasson, Paul M. Henery, Caroline Uggla
Abstract: An important source of inequality in mortality is regional variation. However, studies that investigate regional mortality patterns within and across national borders are extremely rare. We respond by carrying out a comparative study of Finland and Sweden: two welfare states that share many attributes, with one exception being their mortality trajectories. While Finland has risen rapidly in the global life expectancy rankings, Sweden has lost its historical place among the top ten. Using individual-level register data, we study regional trends in life expectancy and life-span variation by sex. Although all regions, in both countries, have experienced substantial improvements in life expectancy and lifespan inequality from 1990-2014, considerable differences between regions have remained unchanged, suggesting the existence of persistent inequality. In particular, Swedish-speaking minority regions in Finland had maintained their mortality advantage over Finnish-speaking regions. Nevertheless, there is some evidence of convergence between the regions of Finland and Sweden.


The Strategic Research Council of the Academy of Finland, decision number 293103, for the research consortium Tackling Inequality in Time of Austerity (TITA)

The Swedish Research Council (Vetenskapsrådet) via the Swedish Initiative for Research on Microdata in the Social and Medical Sciences (SIMSAM), grant 340-2013-5164




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