Good news for students: educated types stay healthy longer. This can be concluded from figures published by Statistics Netherlands (CBS) today.

On average, it takes close to 72 years before university of applied sciences (HBO) or research university (WO) graduates start developing health complaints. People who only have a senior general secondary education (HAVO) or university preparatory education (VWO) diploma have six fewer years of good health. The contrast with folks who didn’t make it past primary school is even starker: on average, they can only look forward to 53 years of good health.

Issues with hearing and eyesight

In addition, people with a higher education frequently have fewer issues with their hearing or eyesight. Once again, the difference in years of good health is quite considerable. It takes 14 years longer for the average female WO or HBO graduate to develop significant complaints in this area. On average, these women can look forward to 66 years of relative health, compared to 53 for women who only finished primary school.

An individual’s life expectancy and basic health is affected by a number of factors. For example, people with a higher education often have a better idea which kinds of food are healthy and which they can best leave on the shelf. In addition, a higher level of education often leads to less physically demanding work. General differences between men and women are not that large – although on the whole, men tend to stay healthy slightly longer.