Office for National Statistics data reveals: Life expectancy for women has fallen

Date Posted: Wednesday 27th March 2019

AusterityBudgetChildcareequalityFeminist EconomicsGender BudgetingSocial Infrastructure

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has released data on life expectancy and years expected to live in “Good” health based on national indices of deprivation which measure socioeconomic inequalities in England and Wales.

Our Director, Dr Mary-Ann Stephenson responded to the data released by ONS. 

‘There has always been a link between poverty and life expectancy with people in richer areas living longer than people in poorer areas.

However, we are now seeing that the life expectancy gap between richer and poorer get bigger with the life expectancy of the poorest women actually falling.

Healthy life expectancy for both women and men in the richest areas is 70.4 years. In the poorest areas healthy life expectancy for women is 52 years and for men 51.7 years.

This means that women in the poorest 10% of areas in England can expect 26.7 years of poor health at the end of their lives compared to men in the richest 10% who can expect 12.9 years of poor health at the end of their lives.

The government has been repeatedly told about increasing levels of poverty and deprivation in the UK and the impact this has having on the most vulnerable as well as on women and children.

The data released by the ONS demonstrates yet again why the government must address rising deprivation and inequality. Ending the two- child cap, lifting the benefit freeze and restoring housing benefits to reflect rent levels would be an important first step

We call on the government to reflect and take urgent action to ensure that they fulfill their responsibility in creating an equal society.’