When are you old? Life expectancy across the UK
Posted on 26th October 2022
Many of us live healthy, active lives well into our later years, but recent information published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) highlights major differences in life expectancy for people in different socio-economic groups.
In this jubilee year the Queen has celebrated her 96th birthday but in 1926, when she was born, the life expectancy for women was just 62. There’s no doubt that the Queen would be considered to have reached an admirable age which most of us would be happy to call ‘old’. Just 0.15% of people in the UK have reached her age or are older.
Life expectancy in 2022
During the Queen’s reign life expectancy has increased and you can now expect to achieve a much greater age, but there are many things that will affect how long you will live including:
access to healthcare
The government’s Index of Multiple Deprivation (IMD) for the period from 2017 to 2019 shows that people who live in deprived areas are likely to die at a younger age than those in affluent areas. The difference between the most deprived populations compared to the least deprived is 9.4 years for men and 7.7 for women. It’s also very worrying that people in the most deprived areas are affected much more by all the leading causes of death.
This situation is made worse due to poor general health as a result of things like smoking, poor diet, alcohol and drug misuse, and poor-quality housing which are common in deprived areas. The pandemic also had a greater impact on people living in disadvantaged areas.
What about the future?
Part of the government’s levelling up plan aims to improve healthy life expectancy across the country by 2030. It includes healthy eating initiatives, tobacco control plans, and community diagnostic centres. While these measures are intended to benefit the whole country, supporting people living in areas of deprivation is a huge task.
You are probably expecting to live for many more years so planning for your later life might not be a priority for you at the moment. You can check how long you could live on the government’s live expectancy calculator, but don’t wait. You never know what’s around the corner.
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