TopicsHealth & WellbeingUK: life expectancy has gone back a decade

UK: life expectancy has gone back a decade

Publication: National life tables – life expectancy in the UK: 2020 to 2022, Office for National Statistics

What are the main points?

> Life expectancy at birth in the UK has fallen by around half a year (38 weeks for males and 23 weeks for females) – from 79.3 to 78.6 years in males and from 83 to 82.6 years in females. The data compares 2020 to 2022 with 2017 to 2019.

> It means the latest estimates of life expectancy at birth are back to the same level as 2010 to 2012 for females and slightly below the 2010 to 2012 level for males.

> The pandemic led to increased mortality in 2020 and 2021, and this impact is seen in the 2020 to 2022 data. However, life expectancy improvements have been slow for the last decade.

> A fall in period life expectancy does not automatically mean that a baby born in 2020 to 2022 will have a shorter life; average lifespan is determined by changes in mortality rates across a lifetime. And if mortality rates improve, period life expectancy will go back up.


Senior fellow at The King’s Fund Veena Raleigh said: ‘Much of the heavy burden of sickness and death in the UK is caused by preventable conditions…Improving life expectancy in the UK will require a coherent cross-government strategy that supports people to make healthy choices, identifies and treats illness earlier, and reduces health inequalities by improving the health of people in deprived communities.’

Image | Adobe Stock


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