Macroeconomic changes and educational inequalities in traffic fatalities in the Baltic countries and Finland in 2000–2015: a register-based study
Scientific Reports, 11:2397, 1–9 (2021)
This study examined trends and inequalities in road traffic accident (RTA) mortality in the Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania) and Finland in relation to large-scale macroeconomic changes in the 2000s. Educational inequalities in RTA mortality in 2000–2003, 2004–2007, 2008–2011 and 2012–2015 among 30–74 year olds were examined using census-linked longitudinal mortality data and by estimating the relative and slope index of inequality. Overall RTA mortality decreased substantially between 2000–2003 and 2012–2015. From 2004–2007 to 2008–2011, the RTA mortality decline accelerated but was larger in the Baltic countries. Among men the RTA mortality decline was mostly driven by a larger fall among the high and middle educated. Among women, the changes in RTA mortality by educational level had no clear pattern. From 2000–2003 to 2012–2015 relative educational inequalities in RTA mortality increased among men, although more in the Baltic countries. Among women the pattern was mixed across countries. Absolute inequalities fell in all countries among both sexes. Educational inequalities in male RTA mortality may be growing because of increasingly less access to safer cars and a more hazardous driving culture among the lower educated.
Keywords: Baltic Countries, Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania, accidents, economic development, education, inequality, mortality, transport