Changes in Disability-Free Life Expectancy in Canada between 1994 and 2007

  • Rachel Margolis University of Western Ontario
  • Scott Mandich University of Western Ontario
Keywords: Disability, Mortality, Morbidity, Canada


Life expectancy at birth continues to increase in Canada, reaching 81.2 years in 2009. Knowing whether these older years are healthy or disabled is critical for policymakers. We examine changes in disability-free life expectancy for men and women in Canada in 1994 and 2007 using the Sullivan method. We find that increases in life expectancy for men were due to a moderate increase in healthy years and a larger increase in disabled years. The increases in life expectancy for women
were driven almost completely by increases in disabled years, suggesting an “expansion of morbidity” among women.

Author Biographies

Rachel Margolis, University of Western Ontario
Assistant Professor, Department of Sociology
Scott Mandich, University of Western Ontario
PhD Candidate, Department of Sociology