following will highlight some indicators relevant for the general public and for public health.
The situation of a high income country like Germany, which is also facing the problem of an
aging society, will be compared with Thailand, a middle income country.
Age distribution and life expectancy
The proportion of the young, middle and elderly age groups in Thailand differ from
Germany in that the proportion of elderly in Germany is more than double of that of Thailand
(see graph above)5 .
Consequently, the proportions of the younger and middle age groups in
Thailand exceed those in Germany. Life expectancy for both sexes in Germany 6
is five years
higher than in Thailand7
(see graph below), but the indicator differs for the two countries
mainly because of the lower life expectancy for Thai males (see graphs below). Life
expectancy at age 60 for males is generally lower than for females in both countries.
Generally, the indicators for females don’t differ much between both countries.
An important aspect of life is its quality. The quality of life can be weakened by
numerous adverse circumstances. One of these is ill-health. Additional indicators of the
average level of the health of populations are measurements combining morbidity and
mortality or the absence of morbidity. One of these measures is healthy life expectancy
In statistics of the World Health Organization HALE gives the ‘average number of
years that a person can expect to live in full health’. This indicator excludes years a person
was suffering from disease or injury. In Germany both sexes may expect to lead a more or
less healthy life 9
up to the age of 70, which is almost true for Thai females but less so for Thai
Lower life expectancy for males compared with females is a common phenomenon.
Females experience distinct
physiological status from
childhood to reproductive
age and to menarche. Males
don’t go through these
different phases. Females
are therefore generally
more health conscious and
tend less to engage in
unhealthy and dangerous
behaviour. A good example in Thailand is the fact that females participate in greater numbers
in community health schemes than males. For instance, the ratio of males to females
participating in a community screening test for diabetes mellitus was found to be 1 to 2.3 (2).5 http://www.indexmundi.com/facts/visualizations/age-distribution/#country=de:th (
accessed May 23, 2016)6 http://www.who.int/gho/countries/deu.pdf?ua=1 (
accessed May 23, 2016)7 http://www.who.int/gho/countries/tha.pdf?ua=1 (
accessed May 23, 2016)
www.who.int/healthinfo/statistics/indhale/en/ (accessed May 30, 2016)9 https://www.verywell.com/understanding-healthy-life-expectancy-2223919 (
accessed May 24, 2016)
Life expectancy at birth (in years)
Healthy life expectancy(in years)
Life expectancy at age 60 (in years)