The link between population health and health inequality

Is life expectancy increasing? Is health inequality decreasing? These are fundamental questions for population health.  It is thus natural to ask if life expectancy and inequality are related. The figure below shows they are. It compares life expectancy – average age at death – to the distribution of the age at death around this average (inequality). If everyone died at the same age there would be no inequality. So average years of life lost per death measures inequality. Higher life expectancy is associated with lower inequality.  Each dot is calculated from 5 years worth of data for a country, with 41 countries observed since 1950 (i.e. one dot is for Scotland in 1950-54).

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