Skip to main content

Life expectancy at birth and at age 65 in England and Wales

Life expectancy at birth has been used as a measure of the health status of the population of England and Wales since the mid-nineteenth century. Recently published statistics from the UK Office for National Statistics show that the long-standing North-South divide in distribution of life expectancy across England continues, with people in the North of England generally living shorter lives than those living in the south.

Life Expectancy at Birth
Male life expectancy at birth was highest in East Dorset (82.9 years) and lowest in Blackpool (74.0 years). For females, life expectancy at birth was highest in Purbeck at 86.6 years and lowest in Manchester at 79.5 years. Life expectancy at birth increased across England and Wales by 1.3 years for males and 1.0 year for females between 2006–08 and 2010–12. This is part of a long-standing trend of improving life-expectancy, which is leading to a gradual increase in the average age of the population of England and Wales, and the elderly forming an increasing proportion of the population.

Life Expectancy at 65
Life expectancy at age 65 years of age was highest for men in Harrow, who were expected to live for an additional  20.9 years on average compared with 15.8 years for men in Manchester. For women at age 65, life expectancy was highest in Camden (23.8 years) and lowest in Blaenau Gwent (18.7 years). In 2010–12, approximately 28% of local areas in the East, 49% in the South East and 28% in the South West were in the 20% of areas with the highest male life expectancy at birth. In contrast, there was no local area in the North East and Wales in this group. A similar pattern was observed for females.

There are a number of explanations for the North-South divide in life expectancy, most importantly, socio-economic factors such as deprivation and lifestyle factors such as smoking and diet.

The figure to the top left shows life expectancy (LE) for males at birth by local authority district in England and Wales during the period 2010–12. This continuing divide in health status between the North and the South illustrates the need for a fairer funding formula for the NHS.

A shorter version of this blog post was published in the BMJ.


Popular posts from this blog

Improving how secondary care and general practice in England work together: the NHS Standard Contract

Due to the increasing pressures on general practices within the National Health Service in England, the interface between primary and secondary care, and the division of labour between these, has become an important issue. This has long been an area prone to difficulties and conflict, the consequences of which can directly impact the quality and safety of patient care, particularly for patients with chronic conditions who regularly transition between these two sectors. In an article published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Amy Price and I explore the measures recently implemented in the NHS Standard Contract which aim to target common issues at the primary–secondary care interface, with an aim to reducing inappropriate general practitioner workload in England. We discuss the context behind the implementation of the NHS Standard Contract as well as current concerns and areas for further consideration.

The current crisis in primary care means the NHS Standard Contract…

Patients are more satisfied with general practices managed by GP partners than those managed by companies

General practices in England are independent businesses that are contracted to provide primary care for specified populations. Most are owned by general practitioners, but many types of organisation are now eligible to deliver these services. In a study published in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, we examined the association between patient experience and the contract type of general practices in England, distinguishing limited companies from other practices.

We analysed data from the English General Practice Patient Survey 2013–2014 (July to September 2013 and January to March 2014). Patients were eligible for inclusion in the survey if they had a valid National Health Service number, had been registered with a general practice for six months or more, and were aged 18 years or over. All general practices in England with eligible patients were included in the survey (n = 8017).

Patients registered to general practices owned by limited companies reported worse experience…

Dr Demis Hassabis, Co-Founder and CEO of DeepMind, Speaks about AI in Healthcare

On 28 September 2017, I attended the Annual Institute of Global Health Innovation Lecture: Artificial General Intelligence and Healthcare, delivered by Dr Demis Hassabis, co-founder and CEO of Google DeepMind. Artificial intelligence is the science of making machines smart argued Dr Hassabis, so how can we make it improve the healthcare sector? Dr Hassabis then went on to describe the work that DeepMind was carrying out in healthcare in areas such as organising information, deep learning to support the reporting of medical images (such as scans and pathology slides), and biomedical science. Dr Hassabis also discussed the challenges of applying techniques such as reinforcement learning in healthcare. He concluded that artificial intelligence has great scope for improving healthcare; for example, by prioritising the tasks that clinicians had to carry out and by providing decision support aids for both patients and doctors. Dr Hassabis also discussed some of the ethical issues in using …