Life Expectancy (Public Health, State of the South West 2011)
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8.6.1 Life Expectancy at Birth
126.96.36.199 The life expectancy of an individual at birth is a good measure of the overall health of a population. People in the South West can expect to live longer than the England average of 82.3 years for women and 78.3 years for men (source: ONS, 2007–09 data 'Results for England and Wales'). In fact, women in the South West and the South East jointly enjoy the highestlife expectancy (estimated at birth) of 83.3 years, and men in the South West one of the highest at 79.2 years.
188.8.131.52 However, these figures mask variation by Local Authority across the South West. For example, men, in Bristol and Plymouth, jointly have the lowest life expectancy (estimated at birth) in the South West of 77.2 years, and women in Bristol, Plymouth and Torbay have a lower life expectancy, estimated at 81.9 years, compared to other women in the South West (source: ONS, 2007–09 data 'Results for England and Wales'). Of course, many factors affect individual life expectancy and the above figures are estimates only. More information regarding the calculation of these estimates may be found on the ONS website.
8.6.2 Inequalities in Life Expectancy
184.108.40.206 In North Somerset, men in the least deprived areas (referred to as Quintile 1) have a life expectancy of nearly 83 years, compared to just over 73 years for those living in the most deprived areas (referred to as Quintile 5). This is the largest gap for men in any of the South West’s Local Authorities. The largest gap for women is in Gloucester, where those living in the least deprived areas have a life expectancy of just over 86 years, compared to just under 79 years for those in the most deprived areas (source: Health Profiles, life expectancy by deprivation quintile 2004–2008).
Issues associated with reduced life expectancy include equality of access to education, employment and income, as well as differences in individual behaviour. Moreover, geographical differences might in part be a consequence of internal migration, whereby healthier and wealthier individuals move to more affluent areas.