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Health data 2006

Notes on data for EU15 and EU10 countries

Population 65 years and older
A growing proportion of elderly people in the population lead to a greater need for resources, as the need for care increases with age. All EU countries are facing an ageing population. The most drastic increase is expected in the 80+ age range. The international comparisons reflect population 65 years and older due to availability of data in the existing databases. The population is younger in EU10 countries compared with EU15, with a percentage of population 65 years and older of 13.6% in EU10 and of 16.9% in EU15.

Life expectancy for females and males
The life expectancy for males is around 76.1 years in EU15, compared with 70.1 years in EU10. The corresponding figures for females are around 82 in EU15 and 78.4 years in EU10. In an international comparison within EU15 in 2003, Swedish males lived longest. Life expectancy for females was longer in Spain, France and Italy.

Infant mortality
Infant mortality rate in EU15 is on average 4.5, compared with 6.6 for EU10. Infant mortality in Sweden and Finland is the lowest in the EU15. The actual birth rate in the EU is not enough to maintain the size of population without a need for net immigration. The figures in year 2002 for EU15 and EU10 are  respectively 1.5 and 1.2 births per woman aged 25–44 years.

Healthcare costs per capita
One way to compare healthcare costs is using the cost per citizen, expressed in US dollars, adjusted for purchasing power parity (PPP). In EU15 the cost of healthcare per citizen varies from $1,797 (Portugal) to $3,705 (Luxembourg).

Practising physicians and nurses
A comparison of number of doctors shows that eight of the EU15 countries are in the range of 2.9–3.4 doctors per 1,000 inhabitants. The number of nurses shows large differences, which to some extent reflects different ways to organise the work. This uncertainty is a warning to interpret the result with caution.

Beds in acute care
Sweden and Finland have the lowest number of beds in acute care per 1,000 inhabitants (2.3–2.4). Bed availability in nine other countries ranged from 3.1 to 4 beds per 1,000 citizens.

Average length of stay
The length of stay in hospitals is getting shorter in all countries. The Nordic countries have the shortest length of stay.