Women in all European member states live on average six years longer than men. According to Eurostat, the Statistical Office of the European Communities, the difference was lowest in Malta (80.7 years compared to 76.7 years) and highest in Lithuania (77.7 years compared to 66.3 years).|
One result of this higher life expectancy is that women made up 59% of those aged 65 years or more in the EU25 in 2004. Latvia (68%) had the highest share of women in this age group, and Greece and Cyprus (55% each) the lowest. The fertility rate in the EU25 in 2004 was 1.50, with Ireland (1.99) recording the highest rate, and the Czech Republic (1.22) the lowest.
The average age of women at the birth of their first child was higher in 2004 than in 1994 in all Member States. It increased by about 1 year and 5 months at the EU25 level. The youngest first-time mothers were found in Estonia (24.6 years), Latvia (24.7) and Lithuania (24.8), and the oldest in the United Kingdom (29.7) and Spain (29.2), compared to a EU25 average of 28.2.
Eurostat also reported that the lowest proportion of women having completed at least upper secondary education was observed in Malta (48 per cent), and the highest in Slovenia (94 per cent). In the 25 EU member states, more women than men aged 20 to 24 had completed at least upper secondary education in 2005: 80% of women compared to 75% of men. This is true in all member States except the Czech Republic and the United Kingdom, where the proportions were very similar.
Women were more likely to be unemployed than men in the EU25, with an unemployment rate of 9.6% for women compared to 7.6% for men in January 2006. The female unemployment rate ranged from 3.8% in Ireland to 19.1% in Poland. Only in Estonia, Ireland, Latvia, Sweden and the United Kingdom were the same or a lower proportion of women unemployed than men. In Malta, the unemployment rate for January 2006 was 98% for women and 6.9% for men.
The employment rate, i.e. the percentage of the working age population in employment, was lower for women than for men in all member states: 56% for women and 71% for men in the EU25 in the second quarter of 2005. The female employment rate varied between 34% in Malta and 71% in Denmark and Sweden.
Almost a third (32%) of the managers in the EU25 were women: the highest shares were found in Latvia (44%), Lithuania (43%) and Estonia (38%), and the lowest in Cyprus (14%), Malta (15%) and Denmark (23%).
The gender pay gap in the EU25 in 2004 was 15%, meaning that women earned 15% less than men. The gap was around 5.0% in Malta, Portugal and Belgium, and about 25% in Cyprus, Estonia and Slovakia.
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