UK

Life Expectancy In The UK In 2017 Is Higher Than Ever - But Scotland Is Falling Behind

Almost a third of girls will now live past 90.

27/09/2017 10:05 BST | Updated 27/09/2017 10:25 BST
Michael Pettigrew
Babies in the UK are now expected to live longer than ever 

Life expectancy in the UK has reached its highest point ever, new statistics have revealed. 

Baby boys born between 2014 and 2016 are expected to live 79.2 years, while girls have a life expectancy of 82.9 years, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). 

The results mean that males now have a 21% chance of living until at least 90, while females have an almost one-in-three shot (32%).  

The results represent a slight increase from last year, when life expectancy was set at 79.1 years and 82.8 years for boys and girls respectively - the equivalent of an extra 4.2 weeks for males and 2.1 weeks for females. 

ONS
There has been a slight increase in life expectancy over the past year 

Life expectancy by nation 

While life expectancy may be on the rise in the UK, there is some significant variation between each of the four nations.

While men and women in England are expected to live 79.5 and 83.1 years respectively - the highest in the UK - predictions suggest that the average man and woman in Scotland will die around two years earlier.  

Life expectancy in the UK 

UK average:

Man - 79.2 years

Woman - 82.9 years 

England: 

Man - 79.5 years

Woman - 83.1 years 

Northern Ireland: 

Man - 78.5 years 

Woman - 82.3 years 

Wales: 

Man - 78.4 years 

Woman - 82.4 years 

Scotland: 

Man - 77.1 years 

Woman - 81.2 years 

Life expectancy in Scotland has been diverging from the UK average since 1980-82, with ONS pointing the finger at higher levels of heart disease, smoking and alcohol consumption as potential causes for the difference. 

Drug-related deaths could also be to blame, the statistics agency said. 

ONS
Scotland is falling behind the other nations 

Life expectancy for over 65s 

According to today’s statistics, men aged 65 in the UK can now expect to live another 18.5 years, giving them a life expectancy of 83.5.

Women of the same age, on the other hand, are predicted to live another 20.9 years, taking them to almost 86-years-old (85.9). 

While mortality rates among the elderly have traditionally improved fairly rapidly due to changes in lifestyle and the treatment of disease, this year’s results - along with other recent years - suggest a slowing down in this. 

Life expectancy at the age of 90 remained virtually unchanged compared to results released in 2016, with men expected to live another 4 years and women another 4.6.