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16/04/14 09:55

Wide variation in life expectancy between areas in Scotland

A National Statistics Publication for Scotland.

Life expectancy at birth varies considerably for areas in Scotland, according to a report published today by the National Records of Scotland which breaks down by administrative area the Scotland level estimates published on 21 March.

Based on statistics covering 2010-2012, the report shows that life expectancy differs by up to 7.5 years for males and up to 4.9 years for females between Council areas in Scotland.

Registrar General for Scotland and NRS Chief Executive Tim Ellis said:

“The figures published today tell us that life expectancy at birth in Scotland is at its highest ever level and the gap between males and females is closing. But there are significant differences in life expectancy depending on which part of Scotland you live in. For example, life expectancy for a baby born in East Dunbartonshire is 7.5 years more for a boy and 4.9 years more for a girl than for a baby born in Glasgow City.”


Main findings from the statistics released today

At birth

  • Life expectancy in Scotland was 76.6 years for males and 80.8 years for females but with considerable variation between areas.
  • Male and female life expectancy was highest in East Dunbartonshire Council area and lowest in Glasgow City Council area. Males in East Dunbartonshire can expect to live for 80.1 years, 7.5 years longer than in Glasgow City (72.6 years). Females in East Dunbartonshire can expect to live for 83.4 years, 4.9 years longer than in Glasgow City (78.5 years).


Life expectancy at birth, Scotland 2010-2012

Life expectancy at birth


Compared with UK and Europe

  • Scottish males and females have the lowest life expectancy at birth in the United Kingdom (UK). Male life expectancy is 2.3 years lower than the UK average and female life expectancy is 1.9 years lower.
  • In Scotland, males and females can expect to live shorter lives (by 2.6 years and 2.2 years respectively) than in England, where male and female life expectancy is the highest in the UK.
  • Within the UK in 2010-2012, male life expectancy was highest in East Dorset and Hart, both (82.9 years) and lowest in Glasgow City (72.6 years). For females, life expectancy at birth was highest in Purbeck at 86.6 years and lowest in Glasgow City where females can expect to live for 78.5 years. The Council areas higher for males and females are all in England.
  • Amongst European Union (EU) countries, male life expectancy was highest in Sweden (79.9 years), 3.3 years higher than in Scotland. Female life expectancy was highest in France (85.7 years), 4.9 years higher than in Scotland.

Changes over time

  • Male and female life expectancy has continued to rise across Scotland.
  • The biggest improvements in male life expectancy since 2000-2002 have been in Orkney Islands Council and NHS Board area (4.3 years).
  • The biggest improvements in female life expectancy since 2000-2002 have been in East Dunbartonshire Council area, increasing by 2.9 years and Highland NHS Board area, increasing by 2.5 years.
  • The gap between male and female life expectancy at birth in Scotland has decreased from 6.2 years in 1981-1983 to 4.2 years in 2010-2012. Male life expectancy has been increasing at a faster rate than for females since 2001-2003.

At age 65

  • Males in Scotland could expect to live for a further 17.2 years and females a further 19.5 years.
  • Orkney Islands Council area had the highest male life expectancy at age 65 (19.4 years), 4.5 years higher than in Glasgow City, where it was lowest at 14.9 years. Female life expectancy at age 65 was highest in East Dunbartonshire (21.5 years) and lowest in Glasgow City (18.3 years), a difference of 3.2 years.

Notes to editors

1. The National Records of Scotland (NRS) was created on 1 April 2011, and incorporates the former General Register Office for Scotland and National Archives of Scotland. It is responsible for producing statistics on Scotland’s population.

2. This publication summarises the National Records of Scotland’s life expectancy figures for the years 2010-2012 for administrative areas within Scotland. It also compares the results of the previously published life expectancy estimates calculated using population estimates based on the 2001 Census with those calculated using revised population estimates based on the 2011 Census for the years 2000-2002 to 2008-2010. As the revised small area population estimates for 2002 to 2010 are not yet available it has not been possible to update the life expectancy estimates for other areas such as by Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) and Rural Urban classification. Results for these areas will be published in October/November 2014 alongside administrative area estimates for 2011- 2013.

3. Life expectancy in this publication for all years use the new 2014 NHS Boundaries in existence from 1 April 2014. Figures for 2006 NHS Board areas are available on the NRS website.

4. Previous publications about life expectancy produced by NRS are available at: http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/statistics/theme/life-expectancy/index.html

5. A report (GSSM series no. 33) on research undertaken by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) to compare methodologies for calculating life expectancy figures and confidence intervals can be found on the ONS website: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/method-quality/specific/gss-methodology-series/index.html

6. Life expectancy figures used for international comparisons are taken from Table tps00025 of the Eurostat website. Further information on mortality and life expectancy can also be found on this website.

7. All the figures in the report are period life expectancies and are a three year average for 2010-2012. They are produced by aggregating deaths and population data for the three year period, which provides large enough numbers to ensure that the figures published in the report are robust. Period life expectancy at birth for a given area and time period is an estimate of the average number of years a new born baby would survive if he/she experienced the particular area’s age specific mortality rate for that time period throughout his/her life. The figure reflects mortality among those living in the area in each period, rather than mortality among those born in each area. It is not the number of years a baby born in the area in the period is expected to live, both because death rates are likely to change in the future and because many of the newborns may live elsewhere for at least some part of their lives. The term ‘expected to live’ is used in the publication for ease of reading.

8. Period life expectancies for the United Kingdom and its constituent countries are calculated annually by ONS using complete life tables. These are available from 1980-1982 until 2010-2012 at the ONS website: http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/lifetables/national-life-tables/index.html

Because of the differences between complete (single year of age) and abridged (grouped years) life tables, the Scotland level figures presented in this publication may differ slightly from those published by ONS.

9. This publication is available through the NRS website:
http://www.gro-scotland.gov.uk/statistics/theme/life-expectancy/scottish-areas/index.html

10. Further statistics on Scotland’s population can be accessed in the Statistics section of the NRS website.

11. Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff. General information about population statistics can be accessed in the About our Statistics section of the NRS website.

Media enquiries should be directed to: Vicky Crichton 0131 244 2682

Further information about the statistics is available from:

Customer Services

National Records of Scotland

Ladywell House

Ladywell Road

Edinburgh EH12 7TF

Tel: 0131 314 4299

E-mail: customer@gro-scotland.gsi.gov.uk

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