Residents of the Balearic Islands have the highest life expectancy in Spain

by Lorraine Williamson
life expectancy

MALLORCA – A child born today in Mallorca will reach on average 83.4 years of age. The Balearics lead the life expectancy rankings published by Fundación Mapfre on Wednesday. The national average is 82.14 years. 

Spain’s aging population and demographic transformation are leading to many alarming headlines in the news. They focus on the problems and risks of the phenomenon. Some of which include;

  • the collapse of the pension system
  • the decline in the labour force
  • rise in medical expenditure
  • fall in consumption, and so on. 

Mapfre found that there are too few studies that analyse the chances of the aging of the population. Without forgetting the enormous challenge that this change in the Spanish population pyramid entails. That is why, according to the insurer, figures are needed to indicate approximately what this is about. Furthermore, the elderly have a direct impact on one in four euros of European wealth. In Spain, this impact amounts to 26% of GDP and 60% of all national consumption. 

How kind is Spain to its elders? 

Researchers at the Agingnommics Research Centre wanted to find out how ‘friendly’ Spain is to its elderly based on objective data. In particular, what are the situation, the treatment, and the possibilities offered by the different autonomous communities to their elderly? After all, a large part of the government policy that affects this group is managed from these areas. 

The figures show that the Balearic Islands are the autonomous Spanish community with the highest life expectancy at birth in Spain. That life expectancy is 83.4 years. The islands of Mallorca, Menorca, Ibiza, and Formentera are also at the top in terms of the average age at which workers can retire. 

How do communities treat their elders? 

For the report ‘Ranking de Territorios por la Economía Senior 2021‘, the researchers use official data and evaluate the autonomous communities in six dimensions to find out how they treat older people in areas such as demography, employment, political participation, pensions, public spaces, and health services. 

Geographical classification 

Each dimension is in turn subdivided into other indicators such as life expectancy, activity rate, older voters, average pension, centres for the elderly, or telecare, among others. The result is a set of more than 400 data and the ability to bring them into a geographic classification. 

Baycrest Wealth

Highest life expectancy from 65 years 

The Balearic Islands not only have the highest life expectancy at birth but are also the second autonomous region with the highest life expectancy from 65 years, at 21.19 years. Only Galicia comes above with 21.55 years. The national average is 20.27 years. 

Highest average retirement age 

The islands are also the autonomous community with the highest average retirement age, followed by Navarra and La Rioja (both with 63). 

Highest activity rate among 55-year-olds or older 

In this sense, the region is also among the regions with the highest activity rate of people aged 55 or older (31.7%), the national average being 27.55%. It is also one of the areas with the highest number of centres for the elderly per 10,000 inhabitants (1.89). 

Labour participation 

The islands are also among the communities with the lowest number of people aged 55 or over, totalling 351,288 (28.8% of the population). At the other extreme is Asturias, with 42.52%. It is therefore the region with the lowest employment rate of people in this age group (18.2%). The national average is 19.3%. Unemployment affects 11.4% of this group in the islands, while the national average is 12.06%. 

However, the islands together count 14,084 self-employed persons older than 55 years, 26.6% of the total. In all of Spain there are 569,483, 28.29% of the total. 

Spain, along with Japan, has the highest life expectancy in the world 

According to Mapfre’s findings, Spain – along with Japan – has the highest life expectancy in the world – a culture of openness thanks to tourism and a proven entrepreneurial spirit. 


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