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Females live longer than males but spend a larger proportion of their lives with a disability

People in the South of England have higher disability-free life expectancy than those in the North

Disability-free life expectancy (DFLE) estimates provide an insight into the population’s health by indicating the number of years an individual might expect to spend disability1 free in his or her lifetime. Such measures can be used in health and social care resource planning and policy, to gauge economic issues like health and social needs assessment, pension provisions, fitness for work and pension ages.

This analysis uses 2011 Census data to look at DFLE by NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs). CCGs were introduced in April 2013 in England to replace Primary Care Trusts and they are responsible for commissioning care at the local level, such as maternity, hospital and emergency services. Among their primary aims are a fair distribution of health resources and a reduction in health inequalities.

At birth and at age 65, males can expect to live more of their lives disability-free than females

The DFLE and life expectancy estimates show that on average females are expected to live a longer life than males in England, but will spend a greater proportion (and more years) of their life with disability.

Males at birth living in England can expect to live 80.9% of their future life disability free, while for females it is 78.4%. At age 65, meanwhile, the proportion of remaining life spent disability free is less than half for both males and females living in England (47.3% and 42.2%, respectively).

The difference between males and females in the proportion of life spent disability free is slightly wider at 65 (5.0 percentage points difference) than at birth (2.6 percentage points difference). As females live longer than males, the widening of the gender inequality gap might be partly explained by the prevalence of disabling health problems increasing with age.

People in the North likely to live more years of their lives with a disability than those in the South

Disability-free life expectancy (DFLE) at birth for NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), England, 2010-12

Map showing disability-free life expectancy (DFLE) at birth for NHS Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs), England, 2010-12

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An inequality (i.e. the gap) in DFLE between CCGs was found between the North and South of England. Those living in CCGs located in the North are generally expected to live more years of their life disability free compared with those living in CCGs in the South, despite their shorter life expectancies. Furthermore, people living in the North are expected to live a larger proportion of their lives with disability as they (on average) have a shorter life expectancy compared to those CCGs in the South.

Table 1: Disability-free life expectancy (DFLE) and life expectancy (LE) for the top and bottom five ranked CCGs at birth, males, 2010-12

Years, percentages

CCG  DFLE rank DFLE    LE  With disability  Proportion of life spent disability free (%)
Top five            
NHS Guildford and Waverley 1 70.2 * 82.2 12.0 85.4
NHS Surrey Downs 2 69.9 * 81.8 12.0 85.4
NHS Wokingham 3 69.7 * 81.6 11.8 85.5
NHS Richmond 4 69.5 * 81.7 12.1 85.2
NHS Windsor, Ascot and Maidenhead 5 69.3 * 81.2 11.9 85.3
England   64.1   79.2 15.1 80.9
Bottom five            
NHS Knowsley 207 57.3 ** 76.6 19.4 74.7
NHS Liverpool 208 57.2 ** 76.1 18.8 75.3
NHS Blackpool 209 56.4 ** 74.0 17.5 76.3
NHS Bradford City 210 55.6 ** 73.1 17.5 76.1
NHS North Manchester 211 55.1 ** 73.5 18.4 75.0

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1. *Significantly higher DFLE compared to the DFLE in England at birth.
  2. ** Significantly lower DFLE compared to the DFLE in England at birth.
  3. All columns have been calculated using unrounded estimates.

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Table 2: Disability-free life expectancy (DFLE) and life expectancy (LE) for the top and bottom five ranked CCGs at birth, females, 2010-12

Years, percentages

CCG  DFLE rank DFLE    LE  With disability  Proportion of life spent disability free (%)
Top five            
NHS Surrey Downs 1 70.8 * 85.1 14.3 83.1
NHS Richmond 2 70.7 * 85.9 15.3 82.2
NHS Guildford and Waverley 3 70.6 * 85.1 14.6 82.9
NHS Wokingham 4 70.3 * 84.5 14.2 83.1
NHS Surrey Heath 5 70.0 * 84.3 14.4 83.0
England   65.0   83.0 18.0 78.4
Bottom five            
NHS Liverpool 207 58.8 ** 80.2 21.4 73.3
NHS Knowsley 208 58.4 ** 80.7 22.3 72.4
NHS Central Manchester 209 58.2 ** 79.6 21.3 73.2
NHS North Manchester 210 56.6 ** 78.6 22.0 72.0
NHS Bradford City 211 54.8 ** 78.6 23.8 69.7

Table source: Office for National Statistics

Table notes:

  1.  *Significantly higher DFLE compared to the DFLE in England at birth.
  2.  ** Significantly lower DFLE compared to the DFLE in England at birth.
  3. All columns have been calculated using unrounded estimates.

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Where can I find out more about disability-free life expectancy figures?

These statistics were analysed by the Health Analysis team at ONS. The analysis is based on data collected from the 2011 Census, death registrations and mid-year population estimates. If you would like to find out more about the latest disability free life expectancy statistics, you can read the release, explore an interactive map, or visit the Health and Social Care theme page. If you have any comments or suggestions, we would like to hear them. Please email us at: hle@ons.gsi.gov.uk.

1Disability is defined as someone limited in daily activities for a year or more.

 

Categories: Health and Social Care, Health of the Population, Health Expectancy, Health Inequalities, Disability and Self-reported Health, Subnational Health Expectancies
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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