New healthy life expectancy figures highlight long-term challenges for the country Health Foundation response to ONS healthy life expectancy statistics

27 March 2020

In response to new healthy life expectancy statistics (201618) released by the Office for National Statistics, David Finch, Senior Fellow at the Health Foundation, said:

'Today’s ONS release shows that before the current crisis we were seeing an unacceptable decline in life expectancy for some of us in England.

'It is particularly concerning that the differences in how long we live between richer and poorer areas across the country have increased in recent years. For women in the most deprived parts of the country, life expectancy has actually fallen by over three months in the last three years.

'There are also large variations in the years we can expect to live in good health, with a 19 year gap for girls born in the most and least deprived areas across England.

'The circumstances in which we live – from the support we receive during our early years to our working conditions, housing, and local communities later in life – have powerful impacts on our health. 

'These new figures highlight long-term challenges that the country is facing. Understanding how the response to coronavirus is affecting different groups will be key to understanding the impact the pandemic has had on health inequalities and the longer term action we need to take.’

Media contact

Diana Mackie
020 7257 8039

Further reading


Mortality and life expectancy trends in the UK

November 2019

Since 2011 improvements in life expectancy in the UK have stalled, and for certain groups of the...


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