Moldova’s population is living longer, but not healthier
22 December 2015

The Demographic Research Center, in partnership with UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund, launched the policy paper “Healthy life Expectancy - Overall Indicator of Population Health” showing that life expectancy at birth in Moldova is about ten years lower than in the EU countries, and healthy life expectancy is three years lower than in Romania and 10 years lower than in Italy, Spain and France.

There are significant gender-based differences in terms of healthy life expectancy. Thus, men aged 15-19 years have the life expectancy of 54.1 years, of which only 47 years are lived in a good health. On the other hand, women have a longer life expectancy - 62 years, but they spend several years in poor or very poor health, the proportion of time spent in good health condition is only 82%.

People living in rural areas have both shorter lives and shorter healthy life expectancy than those living in urban areas. Urban life expectancy in the age group of 15-19 years was 60.7 years, of which only 51.3 are lived in good health. This discrepancy is higher in the rural area. Here, life expectancy is 56.6 years, while healthy life expectancy is only 47.6 years.

Presenting the results of the analysis, Olga Gagauz, head of the Demographic Research Center, underlined that countries with high values of life expectancy at birth have also a higher life expectancy level, which proves that the increased life expectancy at birth decreases the diseases incidence in old age. The study also reveals that most of the European countries have made significant progress in increasing healthy life expectancy by controlling the cardiovascular diseases, which is one of the main causes of death in the EU population, including the Republic of Moldova.

Given the low level of living standards, international statistics show that the high share of out-of-pocket expenditure for health care in Moldova accounts for about 45% of the total health expenditure. These out-of-pocket expenditures are almost 4 times higher than in Europe and European Union, and in most reference countries, except for Georgia, where such expenditures account for 62% of the overall health spending. A quarter of the population remains outside the compulsory health insurance, the main reason being the unemployment, informal employment and the impossibility to pay personally for the cost of insurance policy, which presents a barrier preventing the access to health services.

In this context, Eduard Mihalas, Programm Analyst on Population, Development and Gender, UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund, stressed that investments in human development and healthcare system should be a priority for every country and the evidence revealed by studies should help decision-makers to promote policies focused on quality of life, especially for persons from vulnerable groups.

A set of recommendations were formulated on the basis of the study outcomes, aimed at improving the public health policies, especially those meant to (1) increase the accessibility of quality health services for vulnerable social categories; (2) reduce the gap in mortality and morbidity between different socio-demographic groups; (3) increase the functionality of health insurance policy and reduce personal expenditures; (4) combat cardiovascular diseases through health and health education promotion, and (5) increase the investments for a better health status via a multisectoral approach, including the allocation of additional resources for education, working conditions, housing and health sector.

The policy paper “Healthy life Expectancy - Overall Indicator of Population Health” was developed by the Demographic Research Center, in partnership with UNFPA, United Nations Population Fund, and is intended to inform decision-makers about the policy priorities related to population and development.

For more information:

Liliana Cusnir, Center for Demographic Research, mob.: 069065559; e-mail:

Ganna Iovchu, Moldova UNFPA Press Officer, mob.: 068988015, e-mail:

  • supporting document Policy Paper SPERANTA de Viata.pdf

  • UN Partner Agencies