Bavaria seems to have all the luck: beautiful mountains and lakes, great beer and, as a study now shows, its inhabitants live longer too.
The research by the Max Planck Institute in Rostock analysed life expectancy in 402 districts up and down the country.
One comparison demonstrated the north-south divide particularly clearly. A man who lives in Bremen’s harbour district can expect to live until the age of 75.8. In Munich men live over five years longer, with a life expectancy of 81.2.
A comparison of women also showed that people growing old in the shadow of the Alps have got it better.
In Starnberg, a rich town to the south of Munich, women live for 85.7 years on average. That’s four years more than the female life expectancy in Salzlandkreis in the less well-to-do state of Saxony-Anhalt.
The life expectancy of a woman in southern Bavaria is thus comparable to that of a South Korean. Men from Bremen live roughly as long as their equivalents in Oman.
The study found that life expectancy was lowest in the states of former East Germany and the Ruhr region, two areas where there are particular concentrations of poverty.
“Exploratory analyses show that average income, population density and the number of doctors per 100,000 inhabitants do not correlate very strongly with life expectancy at district level,” the report found.
Instead it found a correlation between dependency on jobless payments and low life expectancy. The researchers say that this indicates a link between poverty and low life expectancy.
They argue that government should be focused on improving medical treatment in the poorest areas of the country as a means of reducing the gap.
Overall, Germany has a life expectancy of 83.3 for women and 78.5 for men, placing it 30th in the world.
Life expectancy – (die) Lebenserwartung
District – (der) Landkreis
Living standards – (die) Lebensbedingungen
Poverty – (die) Armut
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