Latest data shows that a child born in the UK today will die nearly 5 years earlier than previously predicted Health Foundation response to latest Office for National Statistics data on UK life expectancy

12 January 2022

About 2 mins to read

Responding to the latest Office for National Statistics data on life expectancy in the UK, David Finch, Assistant Director of Healthy Lives at the Health Foundation, said:   

'Today's figures show that children born today can still expect to live longer than their parents. Girls born in 2020 are expected to live for 90.2 years, and boys for 87.3 years. However, people living in the UK today are not expected to live for as long as previously predicted. The unprecedented increase in deaths caused by COVID-19 should end as we move beyond the pandemic but there will be a lasting impact from the decade of stalling life expectancy prior to the pandemic. Girls born in 2020 are now expected to die 4.8 years earlier than was expected in 2012, and boys, 4.5 years earlier.    

‘The government faces a massive challenge in delivering its promise to improve life expectancy for people in the UK. A ’whole government approach’ is required if we are to see significant progress, including in areas that contribute to health such as having more secure employment, good quality homes and adequate welfare support for those who are struggling. Improving health needs to be a key consideration in all government policy and investment decisions, the vast majority of which have the potential to help or hinder efforts. The pandemic has laid bare the extent of underlying poor health in the UK, with tragic consequences. Good health is vital to the country’s prosperity and government cannot delay any further in investing in our future.’ 

Media contact

Simon Perry
020 7257 2093

Further reading


Build Back Fairer: The COVID-19 Marmot Review

December 2020

A new report by the Institute of Health Equity, commissioned by the Health Foundation as part of its...

Press release

Government must ‘seize the moment’ and take a 'whole government’ approach to improving health, says charity

15 October 2021
Press release

Health Foundation statement following the release of the cross-government strategy.

You might also like...

Newsletter feature

Let's talk differently about health: why framing matters

Newsletter feature

 Maria Castellina, Director of Impact at FrameWorks UK, explains why framing an issue differently...

Newsletter blog

We can't wait for government to act on health inequalities

Newsletter blog

Political instability has yet again got in the way of public health policy. What is certain is the...


How to talk about the building blocks of health


A communications toolkit showing people how to tell a more powerful story about health.

Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101 copy

Get social

In the public and political debate about how to improve health, the wider determinants of health are often left out…

Follow us on Twitter
Kjell-bubble-diagramArtboard 101

Work with us

We look for talented and passionate individuals as everyone at the Health Foundation has an important role to play.

View current vacancies
Artboard 101 copy 2

The Q community

Q is an initiative connecting people with improvement expertise across the UK.

Find out more