Life expectancy at birth has been used as a measure of the health status of the population in England and Wales since the 1840s. It was employed in some of the earliest reports of the Registrar General to illustrate the differences in mortality experienced by populations in different parts of the country. The tradition of using life expectancy as an indicator of geographic inequalities in health has been continued by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) since 2001, with the publication of sub-national life expectancy statistics (XLSX 985 KB). Period life expectancy at a given age for an area is the average number of years a person would live, if he or she experienced the particular area age-specific mortality rates for that time period throughout his or her life.
Many studies have shown that geographical variations in life expectancy can largely be accounted for by individual and area-based deprivation. The Marmot Review published in 2010 highlighted the fact that people living in the poorest neighbourhoods will on average, die seven years earlier than people living in the richest neighbourhoods. The difference in disability-free life expectancy is even greater, with the average difference between the most and least deprived areas being 17 years. This means people in poorer areas not only die sooner, but they will also spend more of their lives living with a disability. 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 Lancashire-14: life expectancy
- In 2013 to 2015, life expectancy at birth (LE) for females in Lancashire-12 (82.1 yrs), Blackburn with Darwen (80.8 yrs) and Blackpool (79.4 yrs) is significantly lower than England (83.1 yrs).
- Within Lancashire-12, female LE in four districts (Fylde, Ribble Valley, South Ribble and West Lancashire) is statistically similar to England, with the remaining eight districts being significantly lower.
- Male LE in Lancashire-12 (78.5 yrs), Blackburn with Darwen (76.5 yrs) and Blackpool (74.3 yrs) is significantly lower than England (79.5 yrs).
- Male LE in Ribble Valley is significantly higher than the England average, while Chorley, Fylde, South Ribble, West Lancashire and Wyre are similar, and the remaining six districts are lower.
- The gap in LE between each local authority in Lancashire-14 and England as a whole was greatest in Blackpool where the difference is 5.2 years lower for males and 3.7 years lower for females.
- The trend towards an increase in LE has slowed or reversed across Lancashire-14. This is most notable for Blackpool females, where between 2012-14 and 2013-15, LE reduced by almost 6 months.
- The Slope index of inequality (SII) measures inequalities in LE within local authorities and represents the range in years of life expectancy across the social gradient from most to least deprived groups of small areas. In 2012-2014:
- For females in Lancashire-12, the SSI is 7.1 years; Blackburn with Darwen is 8.3 years and Blackpool is 8.5 years.
- For males the SII is 10.2 years for Lancashire-12; Blackpool is 11.8 years and Blackburn with Darwen is 11.9 years.
- The SII has fluctuated for males and females over the period 2002-04 to 2012-14, with the greatest increases seen in 2012-24.
Key findings for Lancashire-14: Life expectancy at 65
- In 2013 to 2015, life expectancy (LE) at 65 for females in Lancashire-12 (20.4 yrs), Blackburn with Darwen (19.5 yrs) and Blackpool (19.3 yrs) is significantly lower than England (21.1 yrs).
- Within Lancashire-12, female LE at 65 in Ribble Valley is significantly higher than England, while in Fylde, South Ribble and Wyre it is statistically similar and significantly lower in the remaining eight districts.
- Male LE at 65 in Lancashire-12 (18.2 yrs), Blackburn with Darwen (17.5 yrs) and Blackpool (16.5 yrs) is significantly lower when compared to England (18.7 yrs).
- Male LE in Ribble Valley and South Ribble is significantly higher than the England average; four districts (Chorley, Fylde, Pendle and Wyre) are similar, and the remaining six are lower.
- Between 2012-14 and 2013-15, there is a slight decrease in female LE at 65 in Blackburn with Darwen and Blackpool, and no change in Lancashire-12 overall. For males there are increases in Blackburn with Darwen and Lancashire-12, but a decrease in Blackpool.
Page updated March 2017