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'North-south divide' on disability

People living in different parts of England are facing a postcode lottery when it comes to the age they should expect to be struck down with a disability or long-term illness, new figures suggest.

Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that people living in some parts of the country can expect to enjoy an extra 16 years of life without such conditions than people in other regions.

Experimental statistics from the data authority show that people born in the south of England have a much higher "disability-free life expectancy" (DFLE) compared with those in the north.

The latest ONS report also highlights the regions where people can expect to live for the least and longest time without a disability or "limiting persistent illness".

Baby girls born in Herefordshire between 2009 and 2011 have a DFLE of 71.7 years - 16.1 years longer than girls born in Tower Hamlets, east London, who can expect to live 55.6 years on average before being struck down with such conditions.

Boys born in Richmond upon Thames can expect to live until they are 69.9 without disability while th ose born in Liverpool have a DFLE of 56.4 years - 13.5 years less than those born in the south west London borough.

Across England the average DFLE for boys born between 2009 and 2011 is 63.9 years and for girls it is 64.4 years.

The new ONS report states: "T here was considerable variation between the DFLE of different regions.

"There was a clear north-south divide, with the southern regions having higher DFLE."

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