Working Life

Expected Duration of Working Life in Europe 2022

What is the projected length of working life for a 15-year-old in 2022 across Europe? According to @eu_eurostat estimates, Iceland has the longest expected working life duration at 45.4 years, followed by the Netherlands at 43.2 years and Sweden at 42.6 years. Romania (31.5 years), Italy (32.2 years), and Bulgaria (33.6 years) have the shortest expected durations.

The EU average was 36.5 years in 2022, an increase of 4.4 years compared to 2001. Working life, in this context, refers to the total number of years a person is expected to be in the labour force – either employed or unemployed – throughout their life.

The EU-average expected length of working life has risen for both men and women. In 2022, women are expected to spend an average of 34.2 years in the labour force, while men are expected to spend 38.6 years. The gender gap has narrowed from 7 years in 2001 to 4.4 years in 2022.

The indicator published by Eurostat, is based on an analysis of life expectancy and labour force participation rates. According to Eurostat, most of the variation in the expected length of working life between countries can be attributed to differences in labour force participation rates.

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