UK Falls Behind In Life Expectancy Improvements

Life expectancy in the UK has increased at a slower rate than in 20 other leading nations, according to recent data.  Britain showed the lowest increase in life expectancy in women, and the second lowest rise in men’s life expectancy (after the USA) according to the Office of National Statistics (ONS).

Between  2010 and 2015 life expectancy increased by 10 weeks annually.  Also until 2011, life expectancy in the UK had been increasing for a number of decades.  However, says the ONS, in the second decade of the 21st century the UK along with several other countries, has seen a notable slowdown in these improvements for both males and females.

During the same time, Switzerland, which has the highest life expectancy at birth for males in 2016, maintained a high level of increase.

Alan Evans of the ONS commented that “the slowdown in life expectancy improvements that has been observed in the UK since 2011 is also evident in a number of other countries across Europe, North America and Australia.  However, the UK has experienced one of the largest slowdowns in life expectancy at birth and at age 65 years for males and females.

By contrast Japan has come through a period with low life expectancy gains and has recently experienced an acceleration of mortality improvements, showing that even after a period of slow growth in life expectancy, a country may again return to faster improvements”.