Social Policy Trends: Prosper and Live Long


  • Ronald Kneebone University of Calgary


This month’s Social Policy Trends summarizes recent research released by Statistics Canada on the relationship between health and income. The report shows how life expectancy and quality of life vary by one’s income.

The report presents two measures of long-term health: estimated life expectancy and a calculation of health-adjusted life expectancy (HALE). The HALE measure is interpreted as the number of years in full health that an individual can expect to live given current morbidity and mortality conditions. The data in the table show these values for a person aged 65 years in 2011. A life expectancy of 20 would indicate that someone aged 65 years in 2011 could expect to live for another 20 years. A HALE value equal to 15 would indicate that that person could expect to live 15 of those 20 years in full physical and mental health. Details on the calculation and definition of the HALE measure are available here.