Life expectancy continues to improve: report

Life expectancy for men and women continues to improve, according to the National Records of Scotland.

Life expectancy for men and women continues to improve, according to the National Records of Scotland.

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Life expectancy for men and women continues to improve, according to a report published today by the National Records of Scotland.

Based on statistics covering 2013-2015, the report breaks down further the estimates published at Scotland level on 10 August 2016 which showed that life expectancy is now 77.1 years for men and 81.1 years for women in Scotland.

Commenting on the report published today, Chief Executive of National Records of Scotland and Registrar General for Scotland Tim Ellis said: “This report shows that while life expectancy continues to improve, there is still wide variation across Scotland.

“The report also shows that the gap between life expectancy for men and for women is continuing to narrow.

“Life expectancy for men is highest in East Dunbartonshire and lowest in Glasgow City, while for women it is highest in East Dunbartonshire and lowest in West Dunbartonshire.”

An infographic summarising the key points of the NRS report is available on the NRS website and an interactive data visualisation comparing life expectancy at birth between Scottish council areas is available on the Scottish Census website.

The key points in this report for 2013-2015 are:

At birth:

Life expectancy for those born in 2013-2015 in Scotland was 77.1 years for males and 81.1 years for females but with considerable variation between areas.

Male and female life expectancy was highest in East Dunbartonshire council. Male life expectancy was lowest in Glasgow City while female life expectancy was lowest in West Dunbartonshire council. Males in East Dunbartonshire can expect to live for 80.5 years, 7.1 years longer than in Glasgow City (73.4 years). Females in East Dunbartonshire can expect to live for 83.5 years, 4.8 years longer than in West Dunbartonshire (78.7 years).

The NHS Board area with the highest male life expectancy was Borders (78.8 years), with female life expectancy being highest in Western Isles (82.9 years); the NHS Board area with the lowest male life expectancy was Greater Glasgow and Clyde (75.3 years), with female life expectancy also lowest in Greater Glasgow and Clyde at 80.1 years.

Compared with UK and Europe

Scottish males and females have the lowest life expectancy at birth of the United Kingdom (UK) constituent countries. Male life expectancy is 2.0 years lower than the UK average and female life expectancy is 1.7 years lower.

In Scotland, males and females can expect to live shorter lives (by 2.3 years and 1.9 years respectively) than in England, where male and female life expectancy is the highest in the UK.

Amongst European Union (EU 28) countries, male life expectancy was highest in Cyprus (80.9 years), 3.8 years higher than in Scotland. Female life expectancy was highest in Spain (86.2 years), 5.1 years higher than in Scotland.

Although male and female life expectancy continues to improve in Scotland, the gap between Scottish and English life expectancy for both males and females has widened since 1980-1982 by 0.3 years for males and by 0.2 years for females.

Changes over time

In general, male and female life expectancy has tended to increase over time.

The biggest improvements in male life expectancy since 2001-2003 have been in Inverclyde council (5.3 years).

The biggest improvements in female life expectancy since 2001-2003 have been in Highland and Na h-Eileanan Siar (3.2 years).

The gap between male and female life expectancy at birth has decreased from 6.2 years in 1980-1982 to 4.1 years in 2013-2015. Male life expectancy has been increasing at a faster rate than for females from 2001-2003 to 2012-2014 closing the gap over this period.

At age 65

Males in Scotland could expect to live for a further 17.3 years at age 65 and females a further 19.7 years.

East Dunbartonshire council had the highest male life expectancy at age 65 (19.3 years), 4.1 years higher than in Glasgow City, where it was lowest at 15.2 years. Female life expectancy at age 65 was highest in East Renfrewshire (21.3 years) and lowest in Glasgow City (18.2 years), a difference of 3.1 years.

The NHS Board area with the highest male and female life expectancy at age 65 was Orkney (18.7 years and 21.2 years respectively). It was lowest for males in Greater Glasgow and Clyde (16.3 years) and for females in Lanarkshire (18.8 years).