Healthy life expectancy

Healthy life expectancy (HLE) adds value to life expectancy by introducing an element of quality of life and indicates the amount of time a person will live in good health (rather than with a disability or in poor health). 

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

The figures below refer to the 2018-2020 period unless stated.

  • Healthy life expectancy (HLE) at birth for males (all ages) in the Lancashire-12 area (61.4 years) is significantly worse than England (63.1 years). 
  • Blackpool (53.5 years) has the lowest male HLE expectancy in England; Blackburn with Darwen (58.8 years) is also one of the lowest. Both are significantly worse than England.
  • For females, HLE in Lancashire-12 (64.0 years) is similar to England (63.9 years). Blackpool (54.3 years) and Blackburn with Darwen (59.3 years) are significantly worse, with Blackpool having the lowest in England. 
  • 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 in an authority. 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) (2009-13).

For county and unitary data and further information please see below (data are not available at district level). Please select the geography type to see what indicators are available as not all are provided across the different footprints.

If the area has defaulted to 'Counties & UAs in North East region', click on the down arrowhead next to 'Geography', select 'Region' and then 'North West'. This is an issue which is not within our control, apologies.

Page updated June 2022