Life Expectancy & Demographics

A do it yourself (DIY) website helps your calculation of Life Expectancy. It is important as it is getting longer and more expensive as we expect greater quality to older age.

Life expectancy is the expected (in the statistical sense) number of years of life remaining at a given age. It is going to be interesting to se if there are differences in the different regions of the UK over time. It will probably take at least 10 years for a significant difference to appear in the UK between England (Majority) and the rest.

But of course we all want quality of life as well as a long one… and we would like to think that our country is doing relatively well to others.  The Preston curve is an empirical cross-sectional relationship between life expectancy and real per capita income.

The Preston curve indicates that individuals born in richer countries, on average, can expect to live longer than those born in poor countries. However, the link between income and life expectancy flattens out. This means that at low levels of per capita income, further increases in income are associated with large gains in life expectancy, but at high levels of income, increased income has little associated change in life expectancy. In other words, if the relationship is interpreted as being causal, then there are diminishing returns to income in terms of life expectancy. There is no link between government spending and life expectancy in poorer countries (those with less than $50 U.S. per capita income)

Life expectancy at birth is a different issue, as it is a measure of the overall heath care, social support and technology available in a country. Your chance of living to 100 years is different in each country. For Wales, Scotland, N Ireland and as a comparison with the rest of the world.

STV news 22nd June 2012 reports: Scottish life expectancy worst in UK as NHS under pressure to be efficient.. “People in Scotland (or Wales) will not live as long as their English neighbours, new statistics show.”

The average Scottish man will live to the age of 75.9 while male Englishmen will live to 78.6.”..

The Office for National Statistics has plenty of information, in summary and in data table format.

Key Demographics from Wikipedia of the UK as graphics: and from Index Mundi as figures (Note that the South East of England is one of the most densely populated areas of the world. Infertility and Obesity are rising, the latter is 27%!!.

How have your local area’s demographics changed since 2001? Find out using this interactive map (The Guardian John Burn-Murdoch 23rd Nov 2012) (England and Wales only)

This showed how superficial the figures are. One of my family pointed out that in rural areas the Health Service gives occupations to a significant proportion of those with experience of tertiary education. If these hospitals are closed or dumbed down, then the proportion of tertiary educated people will fall significantly, which may affect schools and house prices. There is no easy on-line access to the proportion of people with tertiary education in an area of the country. Concentrating services into centres of excellence, and at the same time restricting choice, might mean an exodus of well-educated people from rural areas… unless of course they go private and thereby increase inequalities.

This entry was posted in A Personal View, General Practitioners, NHS managers, Professionals, Stories in the Media, Trust Board Directors on by .

About Roger Burns - retired GP

I am a retired GP and medical educator. I have supported patient participation throughout my career, and my practice, St Thomas; Surgery, has had a longstanding and active Patient Participation Group (PPG). I support the idea of Community Health Councils, although I feel they should be funded at arms length from government. I have taught GP trainees for 30 years, and been a Programme Director for GP training in Pembrokeshire 20 years. I served on the Pembrokeshire LHG and LHB for a total of 10 years. I completed an MBA in 1996, and I along with most others, never had an exit interview from any job in the NHS! I completed an MBA in 1996, and was a runner up for the Adam Smith prize for economy and efficiency in government in that year. This was owing to a suggestion (St Thomas' Mutual) that practices had incentives for saving by being allowed to buy rationed out services in the following year.

2 thoughts on “Life Expectancy & Demographics

  1. Pingback: Crisis over ‘21st-century plague’ of dementia | NHS reality. An NHS soapbox. Speakers' corner for the NHS.

  2. Pingback: Medical Schools: your chances – applications-to-acceptance ratio was 11.2. | NHS reality. An NHS soapbox. Speakers' corner for the NHS.

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