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Britain's life expectancy gap wider

The life expectancy gap between the North and South of Britain has widened further.

While people are living longer in the UK on average, children born in the south of England statistically have a longer life ahead of them than those brought up in Scotland and the North.

A boy from London's affluent Kensington and Chelsea can now expect to survive for 13.5 years longer than his counterpart in Glasgow City, figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) show.

This is up by a year on the previous period, when the gap stood at 12.5 years. The latest figures, which examined the population between the periods 2004/06 and 2008/10, showed the divide has widened even further for girls - by 1.7 years.

Where previously a daughter born to parents in Kensington and Chelsea could expect to live 10.1 years longer than her Glaswegian counterpart, that figure now stands at 11.8 years.

On average, life expectancy at birth has gone up - from 77 years to 78.2 for men and from 81.3 years to 82.3 years for women.

Statistically, the English have a longer future ahead of them than those living in the rest of the UK - peaking at 78.6 for men and 82.6 for women. The Scottish have the lowest life expectancy, reaching the average age of 75.8 years for men and 80.4 years for women.

Meanwhile, an analysis of the life expectancy of those aged 65 showed similar geographical discrepancies.

For elderly women, the divide increased by more than two years - rising from a difference of 7.5 years between regions in 2004-06 to 9.7 years in the 2008-10 period. For men of the same age, the gap increased by just under two years, from 8.2 years to 10.1.

Health Secretary Andrew Lansley said: "Health inequalities widened to their greatest ever under Labour, which is why we have been taking urgent action to reverse this trend. This includes the introduction of a ring-fenced public health budget which will ensure more resources are channelled to the most deprived areas."


From Belfast Telegraph