Life expectancy among pensioners highest in Somerset village

Hinton St George Hinton St George is "a lovely place to live"

The great variation in life expectancy among pensioners has been highlighted in a new study by the actuarial firm Towers Watson.

Male pensioners aged 65 in the small Somerset village of Hinton St George, population 400, have the highest life expectancy in the UK, at 88.7 years.

Those with the lowest life expectancy live in Bootle on Merseyside.

The study was based on mortality rates among 1.5 million retired people in 51 final-salary pension schemes.

Female pensioners at age 65 in the Somerset village have a life expectancy of 91.6 years.

They and their retired male neighbours are closely followed by those Aldeburgh in Suffolk, Frinton-on-Sea in Essex, Seaview in the Isle of Wight and Ferndown in Dorset.

The top 15 locations for long life are mainly seaside towns in southern England.

By contrast, male pensioners in Bootle aged 65 are expected to live to 84.9 years and women pensioners to 89 years.

The list of those towns with the shortest life expectancy is dominated by places in Scotland and Northern Ireland, such as Castlederg, Strabane, Belfast, Saltcoats, Londonderry and Prestonpans.

Apart from Bootle, the only other English location among the worst 15 places for life expectancy is Salford, at number 14.

Matthew Fletcher, a senior consultant at Towers Watson, said: "Where people live can be a powerful predictor of how long they will live.

"Of course, this does not mean that a man could extend his life by four years simply by moving from Merseyside to Somerset.

Pensioner in a playground for the elderly Longevity has been improving everywhere in the UK but there are wide differences around the country

"Instead, a pensioner's address provides clues to other things linked to life expectancy, like their lifestyle and how much money they have from sources besides their pension."

Towers Watson looked at the addresses of the 180,000 people who died among the 1.5 million private-sector pension scheme members it studied between 2006 and 2011.

The actuaries then worked out the life expectancy for people living in clusters of postcodes with similar characteristics.

They then deduced what the life expectancy of 1,446 towns and villages across the UK might be by comparing their social characteristics with those of different postcode clusters.


The geographical location of towns or villages will not necessarily explain why there are different death rates among the retired.

Start Quote

The village has an award winning gastro pub and even has an alms house providing accommodation for the elderly”

End Quote Keith Hurse Hinton St George sub-postmaster

The job someone did while working, their wealth and income during retirement, and their social class will all play a big part.

This is a point suggested by Keith Hurse, the sub-postmaster of the village Post Office in Hinton St George.

"The strange thing is, about 80% of the people here come from the south east of England," he said.

"Many of the retired are former barristers, school teachers and former members of the clergy."

However it is not all down to well-to-do incomers, skewing death rates among the locals.

According to Keith, the village is an ideal place.

"It is a lovely place to live, there is a society for everything, a group of us here took over the village shop and Post Office last July," he said.

"It is a very busy community but there is not the stress and pollution here - it is a very stress-free environment.

"The village has an award-winning gastro pub and even has an almshouse providing accommodation for the elderly," he says.


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  • rate this

    Comment number 41.

    I live in Bootle, and have done for 6 years. Is it perfect? No it isn't, but it isn't hell either. Sure, it needs investment, like most big city areas do, but it is improving. I'm of the belief that no matter how long we live, its what you do with your life that matters. Personally, i'd rather have a pint and a cig, and die at 84.8yrs, than 4 extra years stuck in a nursing home!

  • rate this

    Comment number 40.

    There's no secret to this,it's simply warmer down south,enough said.

  • rate this

    Comment number 39.

    It's got nothing to do with social class . . were living in the UK for gods sake, more your view and perception of your own life predicament.

    Of course, the BBC and a few others would love to take us back to Dickensian times, that's why they keep airing period dramas and the like.

    Middle class, working class, ugly, attractive, rich, poor, intelligent and stupid people exist all over the country.

  • rate this

    Comment number 38.


    If you are that weak minded that need to move to some village down south because it might make you live a few years longer, you're probably going to kick the bucket prematurely anyway.

  • rate this

    Comment number 37.

    The affluant areas in this country will have the longest life expectency because they don`t suffer poverty and stress the same as a run down area. The same rule applies in every city in the country (good area verse rundown area)

  • rate this

    Comment number 36.

    Well, if you don't want to die young... give up the fags and the booze and get your fat lazy backsides moving; do some exercise. You may find you're not so 'poor' if you kick the baccy habit too.

  • rate this

    Comment number 35.

    32 Chrislabiff

    I love your idea that everyone can be rich if they try hard enough. And where do all those entrepreneurs get their workforce from then?

  • rate this

    Comment number 34.


  • rate this

    Comment number 33.

    I'm not sure I want to live too long given the standard of care that one can expect to receive in our care homes after reading about the abuse dished out to an elderly alzheimers sufferer at the Ash Court care home. If that's all we've got to look forward to after working and paying our taxes for years, then no thanks. By the way I live in the Kent so not sure what my life expectancy is!

  • rate this

    Comment number 32.

    Comment No. 3 just highlights the Politics of Envy choking the land - if you want to be rich get up and earn it! ! ! Great Britain has the highest social-mobility in the uk! The poor have only themselves to blame - must we all suffer for their feckless reckless pennyless-ness? etc. etc.
    Trouble is you get that on here - some sort of time-warp...

  • rate this

    Comment number 31.

    Meaningless statistics based on small samples. But Somerset is very nice to live in!

  • rate this

    Comment number 30.

    Mmmm....Hinton has a gastropub - how 2000!
    Bootle is part of the Atlantic Gateway Regeneration area!

    I know where I am going on hols...

  • rate this

    Comment number 29.

    Perhaps as an actuary would note as they live longer they should receive less for a private pension. poverty tends to reduce lifespan as well as illness.

  • rate this

    Comment number 28.

    20.pedro - ".....Another look at some of the Royals and you will realise that length of life isn't everything."

    Princess Di might disagree with that one.......

  • rate this

    Comment number 27.

    Maybe, but when did we ever even hear of Hinton whatever before: clearly it's a place where nothing interesting has ever happened, or no-one important ever came from. Personally, I'd rather have a shorter life, and cram it full of fun, than lead a long boring existence. I'm not spending my retirement sucking Werther's Originals and watching bowls on the green!
    I'd rather go hang-gliding...

  • rate this

    Comment number 26.

    The key missing data is how much those final salary pensions pay out & what work was done for them - working in a phsyically hard labouring jobs generally lowers your life expectation compared to say office work.

    Here's betting the average pension in Someset is WAY higher than in Bootle......

  • rate this

    Comment number 25.

    It is ok the actuarial firm will use this information to clobber anyone at this postcode, best to get your annuity in Bootle by the sounds of it.

  • rate this

    Comment number 24.

    Of course they are going to live a long time in retirement. These are barristers, school teachers and clergymen, you know, men who have done next to nothing all their lives, have NEVER done hard manual labour, and have retired early on a reasonable pension. And before anyone bleats, if they did not have a reasonable pension they would never be able to afford to move to Somerset from the S East

  • rate this

    Comment number 23.

    We should build a massive old folks home there and move everyone into it on the day before their 65th birthday.

  • rate this

    Comment number 22.

    I'd love to be a member of the team who did this study, I bet they got paid very well for what essentially is yet another study that tells us the obvious.

    Of course places like Hinton St George have the people with the best quality and longevity of life.

    It's because the people living there are stinking rich and can afford to live longer in luxury!!!


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