Life expectancy figures show wealth divide

Life expectancy for men in Northumberland is slightly higher than England as a whole, new figures show.

By Will Grimond
Thursday, 16th June 2022, 12:57 pm
Life expectancy data.
Life expectancy data.

But data from the Office for Health Improvement and Disparities also shows that men from the wealthiest fifth of the population can expect to live more than nine years longer than the least well-off.

The average life expectancy for men in the county stood at 78.9 in 2020 and 2021 – just above the national average of 78.7.

But men from the wealthiest fifth of the area’s population can expect to live to 83.2 years – 9.6 more than the least well-off.

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Deaths due to circulatory issues were the main reason behind lower life expectancy for the area’s poorer men.

The average life expectancy for women in Northumberland was 82.9 – with the better off likely to live 8.8 years longer.

David Finch, assistant director at the Health Foundation, a charity working to tackle health inequalities said: "There are staggering differences in life chances depending on where people live.

"Prior to the pandemic, improvements in health had stalled while inequalities had widened.”

He added: "We also see significant variation in how many people have long-term conditions, such as cancer and heart disease, between different areas – partly related to the varying conditions in which people are born, live and work."

A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said tackling health disparities is a "priority" for the Government.

They added: “Later this year we will set out a white paper to reduce the gap in health outcomes between different places, so that people’s backgrounds do not dictate their prospects for a healthy life.”