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Good health in later life depends where you live

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Written by: Paloma Kubiak
07/03/2018
Life expectancy and the amount of time you can expect to spend in good health in your later years varies massively from location to location.

Between 2009 and 2013, males born in Knightsbridge and Belgravia (Westminster) were expected to live to an average of 89 years with 79 of those in good health.

According to the ‘Health state life expectancy’ for England and Wales by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), at the other end of the scale sits Bloomfield where the average life expectancy is a lowly 68 years.

As well as having the lowest average life expectancy, it also has the lowest healthy life expectancy at 47.

That’s a regional variation of more than three decades for time spent in good health between the top and bottom.

The Warfield Harvest Ride in Bracknell Forest had the highest life expectancy at 90 years; a gap of 22 years compared with Bloomfield.

For women, the gap in health between the top and bottom is greater at 35 years. Middlehaven in Middlesbrough recorded 47.6 years in healthy life compared with 83 years in Blackheath and Wonersh of Waverly in the South East of England.

In contrast, females in Great Corby and Geltsdale in Carlisle could expect the longest life (97 years) compared with females born in Gwersyllt West in Wrexham (72.6 years).

Steven Cameron, pensions director at Aegon said the huge regional disparities in life expectancy and the number of years people can expect to live in good health are largely linked to prosperity.

“The findings have big implications for how government delivers services as they show that in some parts of the country there will be greater demand for social care in later life while in others, there will be a greater requirement for medical care at younger ages. In wealthy areas local councils will be all too aware of the potential costs that an ageing population may place on their social care budgets.

“We’re used to seeing figures that suggest everyone is living longer, but as today’s figures show, life expectancy is closely linked to where you live. In some ways it’s perverse but when it comes to the state pension, it’s often the wealthiest who benefit most, given they typically claim for the longest but it would highly contentious to vary state pension based on wealth or life expectancy predictions.”

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