Dr Kingsley Purdam speaks on shocking new figures on life expectancy

2 October 2018

Worrying new figures from the Office for National Statistics, for 2015-17, show that our life expectancy in the UK has stopped improving for the first time since 1982 – and in certain parts of the UK, life expectancy has even decreased.

Both BBC News Online and the Daily Mail have reported on these alarming figures. Dr Kingsley Purdam, senior lecturer in social research methods and statistics told MICRA:

“Despite all the advances in health care it is shocking that life expectancy in the UK is flatlining and for some populations reducing. The UK is falling behind many comparable countries and the differences in life expectancy between local areas in the UK can be more than a decade. This should be seen as a human rights issue. Across the UK as a whole the socio-economic gradient in the differences in life expectancy is striking. It is easy to forget that an estimated 1.6 million pensioners in the UK live below the poverty line and nearly one million older people have unmet social care needs. We all need to look after our health but many of us, including the most vulnerable populations, need help at a time when evidence suggests that services are being cut. The lost years of life have an impact not just on the individual but on those people who are ultimately left behind including partners, children and grandchildren.”

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