The latest ONS analysis reveals there is substantial inequality in life expectancy between the least and the most deprived areas in England, as well as between newborn baby boys and girls. For instance, baby boys living in the most deprived areas in England in 2010-12 can expect to live 7.5 years less than those in least deprived areas, as well as being expected to live 4.9 years less than their female counterparts. Despite this, life expectancy across England has actually increased between 2002-04 and 2010-12 and some inequalities have reduced.
Life expectancy gap narrowed between newborn baby boys in most and least deprived areas
The life expectancy of baby boys in the most deprived areas in 2002-04 was 72.1 years, but increased by 2.8 years in 2010-12. The life expectancy of baby boys in the least deprived areas in 2002-04 on the other hand was 79.8 years, and increased slightly less by 2.6 years. The greater increase in life expectancy in the most deprived areas meant the inequality between baby boys in the most and least deprived areas reduced from 7.7 years in 2002-04 to 7.5 years in 2010-12.
Life expectancy gap widened between newborn baby girls in most and least deprived areas
In comparison, the life expectancy of newborn baby girls in the most deprived areas in 2002-04 was 77.9 years, but increased by 1.9 years in 2010-12. The life expectancy of baby girls in the least deprived areas on the other hand was 83.1 years in 2002-04, but increased slightly more by 2.3 years in 2010-12. The greater increase in life expectancy in the least deprived areas meant that the inequality between baby girls in the most and least deprived areas increased from 5.2 years in 2002-04 to 5.6 years in 2010-12.
Figure 1: Life expectancy by area deprivation, England, 2002-04 to 2010-12
Life expectancy gap reduced between newborn baby boys and girls
The data also revealed that inequality in life expectancy between baby boys and girls reduced across the whole of England. In the most deprived areas, life expectancy for girls was 5.8 years longer than for boys in 2002-04, while in 2010-12 the gap fell to 4.9 years. In the least deprived areas, life expectancy for girls was 3.3 years longer than for boys in 2002-04, but the gap fell slightly to 3.1 years in 2010-12. The narrowing of the gap may be partly due to the significantly greater decrease in premature deaths from potentially preventable and treatable causes in men, such as certain cancers and other abnormal tissue growth, between 2001 and 2011 (ONS, 2013).
Figure 2: Change in life expectancy, least and most deprived areas, England, 2002-04 and 2010-12
Newborn babies in more deprived areas less likely to reach current state pension age
Based on 2010-12 death rates, 79% of newborn baby boys in the most deprived areas will survive to their 65th birthday compared with 92% in the least deprived areas. On the other hand, 87% of newborn baby girls in the most deprived areas and 94% in the least deprived will reach 65.
Where can I find out more about life expectancy?
These statistics were analysed by the mortality analysis team at ONS. The analysis is based on data collected when deaths are certified and registered. If you would like to find out more about the latest life expectancy statistics, you can read the release or visit the health and social care page. If you have any comments or suggestions, we would like to hear them. Please email us at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lower Super Output Areas (LSOAs) in England were ranked according to their adjusted Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD 2010) scores and allocated into five groups. The fifth of LSOAs with the highest level of deprivation are referred to as the most deprived areas and vice versa.
The adjusted version of the IMD 2010 was used in this analysis. The version takes into account LSOA boundary changes following the 2011 Census.
The responsibility for producing the adjusted IMD 2010 lies purely with Public Health England - the figures have neither been quality assured nor endorsed by Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).