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Public sector workers—especially women—live longer than their private sector counterparts, finds a study by the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College.

Read: Gov’t employees make more, retire sooner versus private sector

Men aged 55 to 64 working in the public sector were 0.6 percentage points less likely to die within 11 years (i.e., by the time they were aged 66 to 75) than their counterparts in the private sector. For women, the gap was larger: 1.2 percentage points.

It may be tempting to develop a story around the nature of public sector work—perhaps it’s easier, less stressful, or more stable than private sector work, or perhaps public sector workers have better health benefits. Unfortunately, that’s not true.

“The reality is somewhat more mundane: 1) public sector workers, on average, are more educated than private sector workers; and 2) more educated people have lower mortality,” the report says.

Also read:

Private sector employment surges

Canadians ready for retirement: C.D. Howe

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