Joining with west Germany has given eastern men an extra 6.2 years and women an additional 4.2 years
theguardian.com, Reuters, Wednesday 10 September 2014
|The increase in life expectancy is 'one of the biggest – albeit often overlooked –|
achievements of German reunification,' said researcher Tobias Vogt. Photograph:
The life expectancy of east Germans has risen sharply since their communist state crumbled and was reunified with the more prosperous west in 1990, a new study shows.
Reunification added 6.2 years for men in the former East and 4.2 years for women, according to calculations conducted by Tobias Vogt, a researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, and published ahead of the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall later this year.
If the German Democratic Republic still existed in the east of the country, boys born in 2011 could expect to live to the age of 70.9 while girls would have a life expectancy of 78.7 years, the study showed.
But in reunified Germany boys born in 2011 were forecast to live until they were 77.1 years old and girls could expect to reach the age of 82.9.
"The gain in longevity is thus one of the biggest – albeit often overlooked – achievements of German reunification," said Vogt.
He said the increase in life expectancy for east Germans was likely due to improvements in medical treatment and an improved standard of living since reunification.