Healthy life expectancy

Health expectancies add value to life expectancy by introducing an element of quality of life to length of life.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) publishes healthy life expectancy (HLE) estimates for the average lifespan spent in a favourable state of health, based on self-assessed general health. 

Studies have shown that people in poorer areas not only die sooner, but they will also spend more of their lives living with a disability or living with chronic illness. For society to have a healthy population it is essential to take action to both raise the general level of health and flatten the social gradient.

Key findings for healthy life expectancy in the Lancashire-14 area

The figures below refer to the 2014-16 period.

  • Healthy life expectancy at birth (HLE) for females in Lancashire-12 (63.4 years) is similar to England (63.9 years), whilst estimates for Blackburn with Darwen (60.0) and Blackpool (58.0) are significantly lower.
  • Male HLE in Lancashire-12 (62.5) is also similar to the national average (63.3), whilst both Blackburn with Darwen (57.3) and Blackpool (55.1) have estimates that are below national average.
  • Female HLE has seen a slight decline in the Lancashire-12 area, Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool; there has also been a slight decline in England.
  • HLE for males has increased slightly between 2013-15 and 2014-16 for Lancashire-12, whilst Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool have both seen slight declines.
  • HLE for the Lancashire-14 area is consistently below retirement age, indicating degrees of ill health among the working-age population and suggesting many residents are not able to enjoy their retirement in good health.
  • The Slope index of inequality (SII) in HLE measures the gradient in HLE across the least to most deprived small areas. Analysis shows very substantial inequalities for females and males in Lancashire-12 (females 15.6 years, males 15.8 years), Blackburn with Darwen (17.5, 18.0) and Blackpool (14.5, 16.6).

Further analysis

Further analysis and trend data can be found in the Public Health Outcomes Framework (PHOF) interactive data tool

Page updated February 2018

Health inequalities