Trends in and Characteristics of Mortality Inequality by Education Level in Korea

Trends in and Characteristics of Mortality Inequality by Education Level in Korea

Woo, Hae-Bong

Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs
Research in Brief, vol. 101, pp. 1 - 8
The marked gains that the past century has added to life expectancy represent one of humanity’s most significant achievements during that time period. The life expectancy increase that occurred before the 1950s can be attributed mostly to declines in infant mortality. From the century’s second half on, however, life expectancy gains have been driven primarily by reductions in old- age mortality.2) Such changes had to do with the epidemiological transition. In the early phase of the transition, mortality declines were attributed in large part to declines in death from infectious diseases. Reductions in mortality rate in recent years have been increasingly attributed to declines in death from cardiovascular disease, a key cause of death for older adults.
In the 1950s and 1960s, life expectancy at birth was lower in Korea than in most of the countries that are now members of the OECD. According to the United Nations World Population Prospects (2019), women’s life expectancy in Korea was the third-highest in all OECD countries for the period 2015~2020, while Korean men’s ranked fifteenth.
The mortality decline that occurred in Korea in the past had played out on a “universal” scope, presumably as a result of an across-the-board improvement in living standards and public health conditions. In the recent decades, however, it was the declining old-age mortality that played large part in driving up life expectancy. Health and death in old age are in a sense a result of the opportunity structure that spans the life course and of life experiences as accumulated within it. In that respect, given the growing socioeconomic inequality in Korea, mortality inequality comes as a cause for no small concern.
In the current circumstances where the need is growing for understanding how mortality dynamics and inequality pan out in lockstep with population aging, this study looks into socioeconomic mortality differentials and draws implications for policy. Though there are many indicators in use to represent different socioeconomic groups, socioeconomic mortality differentials in this study are examined between groups of different education levels, as education, looked on here as elsewhere as affecting income, “improves health” by “enhancing a sense of personal control that encourages and enables a healthy lifestyle.”
KIHASA 주제 분류
사회보장 일반 > 사회통합
보건의료 > 보건의료 안전망
보건의료 > 건강친화적 환경
인구와 가족 > 저출산대응
Files in This Item:


Items in DSpace are protected by copyright, with all rights reserved, unless otherwise indicated.

License License