10 European Countries With the Shortest Life Expectancy

People are starting to live longer thanks to advancements in modern technology and medicine. It’s evident that the number of elderly individuals on Earth is increasing. Eight decades prior, the average life expectancy was 65 years. Individuals are now living well into their seventies and eighties. The majority of the world’s population, according to the UN, is found in Europe, with the exception of Hong Kong, Japan, Canada, Australia, South Korea, Singapore, and New Zealand. What about the European nations with the lowest life expectancies, though?

Let’s examine the ten European nations where life expectancy is the lowest. We’ll go into further detail about why that is as well as other important details. Note that the information is from 2021.

10. Serbia

Although Serbia’s life expectancy has been gradually increasing, there are still some improvements that need to be made. The smoking rate is one of the primary causes of the reduced life expectancy. One of the nations with the highest rates of smoking worldwide is Serbia. Tumours and heart conditions are two other major causes of death.

9. Romania

One of the reasons Romania’s life expectancy is shorter than that of other European nations is that it is among the poorest nations in the continent. The bright side is that since communism collapsed in the early 1990s, living standards have significantly improved. Even if heart disease is the leading cause of mortality for Romanians, life expectancy will still rise.

8. North Macedonia

Although total life expectancy in North Macedonia has been gradually increasing, it is still lower than in other European nations due to poverty and violence. The primary causes of death in the nation include neoplasms, endocrine and nutritional disorders, cardiovascular diseases (which account for about 60% of all deaths), and other conditions.

7. Lithuania

For a number of factors, Lithuania has a shorter life expectancy than other European nations. Being a former Soviet state caused economic instability after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, which has also increased the prevalence of male suicides in the last ten years. Additionally, there is a connection between Lithuania’s greater obesity rates and inactivity.

6. Latvia

The life expectancy rate in Latvia, a member of the European Union, is rising. It is still lower than the majority of its European competitors, though. Men tend to avoid going to the doctor generally, and this is reflected in the large gender disparity in mortality. Lung cancer, ischemic heart disease, and cardiovascular disorders are the causes of the decreased life expectancy.

5. Belarus

Belarus’s life expectancy is rising, but it is still significantly lower than that of other European nations. The primary cause of Belarus’s poor life expectancy is the country’s high alcohol intake.One of the nations where alcohol consumption is highest worldwide is Belarus.

4. Bulgaria

Although Bulgaria’s life expectancy rate is on the rise, it remains significantly lower than that of most other European countries. This is explained by the greater rate of maternal mortality, which indicates that women lose their lives during or after childbirth more frequently.

3. Ukraine

The country’s life expectancy has been negatively impacted by the conflict in Ukraine. That’s one of the primary causes of its inferiority to other European nations. Aside from that, the leading cause of death in Ukraine is cardiovascular disease, with cancer-related deaths trailing closely behind.

2. Russia

Russia comes in second on the list, and while the country’s life expectancy has been gradually increasing, there have been some setbacks. The primary reasons behind Russia’s short life expectancy include rising rates of murder, smoking, and alcohol consumption.

1. Moldova

The life expectancy in Moldova is the lowest in all of Europe. The reasons for this are several. Even with an increasing life expectancy, Moldova remains an impoverished nation. With 1,000 live births, the infant mortality rate is 11.6 deaths. Although health insurance is required in Moldova, the country’s healthcare system is of poor quality and heavily corrupted.

Highlights of the 10 European Countries With the Shortest Life Expectancy

Country Life Expectancy (2021)
Serbia 74.2
Romania 74.2
North Macedonia 73.8
Lithuania 73.7
Latvia 73.6
Belarus 72.4
Bulgaria 71.8
Ukraine 71.6
Russia 69.4
Moldova 68.8