Journal Article

Study on some indicators of healthy life expectancy in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea

Ri, R.-H., Ho, K.-R.
World Journal of Public Health, 2:2, 60–66 (2017)
Open Access


Nowadays it is one of the important issues to work out and analyze how long people lead a healthy life in order to clearly understand the health status of population in our country and to take countermeasures for the improvement of their health. Compute the disability life expectancy and disability-free life expectancy (DFLE) in DPRK by sex, age group, urban and rural areas, and types of disability among several indicators which reflect the healthy life expectancy of the population. For the first time, the 2008 census in DPRK provided data on degree of impairments related to human activities. The disability life expectancy is derived from the method commonly used in life expectancy calculation and the DFLE is derived in continuous time and, because of data limitation, implemented using piecewise-constant disability prevalence. (Hereunder disability life expectancy will be expressed as life expectancy.) The life expectancy (LE) of men at birth is 65.6 years and that of women is 72.7 years in DPRK. The life expectancy is 70.5 years in urban areas and 67.6 years in rural areas. The LE at age 60 is 13.2 years for males and 19.1 years for females. The DFLE at age 60 is 8.1 years for males and 10.8 years for females. In DPRK, women live longer than men, on average, but spend more years of living with disability. People in urban areas live longer than those in rural areas and they spend more years of living, free of disability. Such calculation and analysis will contribute to the promotion of the public health effectively in the future.

Keywords: Korea, North, disability table, expectation of life at birth, health
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