There are certain French departments where life expectancy is longer than elsewhere. Do you live in one?

Where is it good to live in France? According to a Rentola ranking, which is based on seven criteria such as sport, agriculture, crime, education, standard of living, housing and aging, one department stands out from the pack. This is Lozère, which obtains the overall quality index of 7.01/10. It is followed by Savoie with 6.83/10 then Hautes-Alpes. Two Breton departments come in fourth and sixth position: Ille-et-Vilaine and Morbihan. The Paris region is also represented by Hauts-de-Seine and Yvelines.

But at a time of debate on the end of life, another question arises: are these departments also those where we live the longest? According to the 2023 Atlas on palliative care and end of life in France, Brittany is, in any case, one of the regions where the number of people aged 75 and over is significant (greater than 86,933 in 2022), except in Côtes-d’Armor. The North is also particularly concerned. Conversely, in Indre, Creuse or Corrèze, there are fewer than 35,875 people over 75 years old. However, these are less populated departments, so it is necessary to look more at the population density in the department. Thus, in the North, the figures fall: less than 9% of the population is over 75 years old while in Indre, this represents 13% of the population.

To really know where we live the longest, we need to look at life expectancy. According to INSEE, in 2020, the average life expectancy at birth in France is 85.1 years for women and 79.1 years for men. Where do the different departments stand in relation to this average?

For men, in more than twenty departments, life expectancy is on average greater than 80.4 years, such as in Ille-et-Vilaine, Mayenne or Maine-et-Loire. Ile-de-France is also affected with Yvelines and Essonne in particular and even Paris. In the East, we find Bas-Rhin and Haut-Rhin where men are on average over 80 years old. Another large concentration is located in the South-East with Ain, Rhône, Savoie… Conversely, men have an average life expectancy at birth of less than 78.2 years, in the Northern France (Pas-de-Calais, Nord, Somme, Aisne, Seine-Maritime, Ardennes). In the rest of the country, it is more scattered, notably Côtes-d’Armor, Manche, Cher and even the DROMs (overseas departments, regions and communities).

Is the observation the same for women? Life expectancy at birth of less than 84.6 years concerns the North of France but also extends to the East with departments such as Meuse, Moselle and Vosges. Yonne, Nièvre and Cher are also affected. For the departments where life expectancy is the longest, we find departments similar to those for men, in the South-East, around the Lyon Legion and in Ile-de-France. However, they are more numerous in the West with Loire-Atlantique, Vendée, Mayenne and Maine-et-Loire. Likewise in the South-West with Haute-Garonne, Tarn and Aveyron. If we compare the different studies, Ille-et-Vilaine and Savoie seem to present many advantages.