29 Sep
Health Longevity

Live expectancy, a reality and a challenge that is changing our society

Live expectancy is one of those “silent revolutions” that continues to transform society as we know it today. Life expectancy is growing worldwide, and Spain is at the forefront of the trend when compared to other countries in the region.

However, when you look at Spain’s birth rate, the situation is completely the opposite. The combination of a high life expectancy and low birth rates is leading to an increasingly ageing population pyramid, a trend that has been on the rise in recent years and shows no signs of slowing.


What do we mean when we refer to life expectancy?

Thanks to scientific and social advances, people are living longer and aspire to a better quality of life. We are increasingly aware of the importance of following a healthy lifestyle, with better nutrition and a more active life, which, combined with improvements in medical, pharmaceutical and socio-healthcare, allow us to live longer in a full and healthy way.

However, these personal efforts do not equate to a good quality of life per se in old age, rather they have certain social implications, including but not limited to the need for new care solutions or the accompaniment of elderly patients. The health sector, technology and other sciences at the service of people have a major role to play to this end.


What is the life expectancy trend in Spain?

For some time now, life expectancy in Spain has been above 80 years, with some differences between men and women, although the gender gap has gradually levelled out. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Spain is one of the five longest-living countries in the world, with a life expectancy of 80.9 years for men and 86.3 years for women.

This trend responds to a number of factors such as improved nutrition, progress in the discovery and development of antibiotics and vaccines, reduction in infant mortality, etc.

In the words of José de Juan Saboya, CEO of Silver Economy Group (SEG) “considering that the population over 55 in Spain will account for 40% of the total population in 2030, both companies and institutions face new challenges as a result of increased life expectancy”.


Implications of increased life expectancy

  • The world’s demographic maps will change in the coming years, with the top of the population pyramid growing further still. According to a report by the Bankinter Foundation, it is predicted that by the end of the century, there will be more people over the age of 65 than under the age of 15.
  • In economic terms, this comes at a higher cost in terms of associated health problems. This will be a major challenge in maintaining sustainable health systems.
  • Changing towards a social structure in which age is not a factor of discrimination. Technology and education will be key to this. The latter will move away from formal training as we know it today towards lifelong learning, which allows people to continue learning and adapting, so that they are not restricted to a certain age.
  • But above all, longevity has implications for people’s health. The likelihood of physical or mental complications increases with age. This is why the term “healthy life expectancy” has become popular in recent years. It is important to note that from the age of 70 onwards, when speaking of “good health”, we mean that the chronic diseases a person is like to already have are not major limitations. Another important implication, highlighted by the WHO, is the major shift in global morbidity: infectious diseases are increasingly being replaced by chronic conditions such as heart disease and stroke.


To turn these challenges into opportunities, it is important to address life expectancy by applying a comprehensive and integrated approach. Thus, CinfaNext seeks to identify new solutions and lines of innovation with other partners that help people not only live longer, but also live better and, at the same time, guarantee the sustainability of healthcare systems. Do you have an idea that might be a good fit? Get in touch!