International Journal of Public Health

, Volume 64, Issue 5, pp 713–720 | Cite as

Reducing socioeconomic inequalities in life expectancy among municipalities: the Brazilian experience

  • Antonio Fernando BoingEmail author
  • S. V. Subramanian
  • Alexandra Crispim Boing
Original article



This study analyzed the evolution of regional and socioeconomic inequality in life expectancy (LE) at birth and the probability of living up to 40 (LU40) and up to 60 years of age (LU60) in Brazilian municipalities between 1991 and 2010.


We analyzed data from the last three national census (1991, 2000 and 2010) computed for the 5565 Brazilian municipalities. They were divided into centiles according to the average per capita income. Poisson regression was performed to calculate the ratios between the poorest and the richest centiles.


The average LE (+ 8.8 years), LU40 [6.7 percentage points (pp)] and LU60 increased (12.2 pp) between 1991 and 2010. The ratio of LE between the 1% of richest counties and the 1% of poorest counties decreased from 1.20 in 1991 to 1.09 in 2010. While in the poorest municipalities there was a gain of around 12 years of life, among the richest this increase was around 7 years.


There was a remarkable decrease in regional and socioeconomic inequality in LE, LU40 and LU60 in Brazil between 1991 and 2010.


Life expectancy Socioeconomic factors Mortality Epidemiology Brazil 



National Council of Scientific Development—CNPq—for granting financial resources (205120/2018-0).


There was no specific funding for this research.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.


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Copyright information

© Swiss School of Public Health (SSPH+) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Antonio Fernando Boing
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • S. V. Subramanian
    • 1
  • Alexandra Crispim Boing
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Social and Behavioral SciencesHarvard T H Chan School of Public HealthBostonUSA
  2. 2.Post-Graduate Program in Public HealthFederal University of Santa CatarinaFlorianópolisBrazil

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