Scotland

Scots life expectancy 'highest ever'

100th birthday cake Image copyright Thinkstock
Image caption There has been a big increase in people living until their 100th birthday since the start of the 21st century

Life expectancy at birth in Scotland has reached its highest ever level, according to official figures.

The statistics said a baby boy can expect to live for 76.5 years, while girls have an average life expectancy of 80.7 years.

However, life expectancy in Scotland is still lower than elsewhere in the UK.

The statistics released by the National Records of Scotland also showed an increasing number of people living beyond 100.

There were 800 centenarians in Scotland in 2012, a rise of 280 compared with 2002.

The vast majority of centenarians are females although the proportion who are male has increased from 10% in 2002 to 15% in 2012.

A century ago living to 100 was very uncommon, but this changed at the beginning of the 21st century when estimates showed there were more than 500 people aged 100 years old and over in Scotland. The number of centenarians has been increasing ever since.

The statistics also showed the the gap for life expectancy at birth between males and females has narrowed from 6.2 years in 1980-1982 to 4.2 years in 2010-2012.

And Life expectancy at birth has increased by two and a half years per decade since 1980-1982 in Scotland for males, and by about two years per decade for females

But Registrar General for Scotland Tim Ellis said: "More generally, while life expectancy at birth in Scotland is higher than it has ever been, life expectancy at birth in Scotland is still the lowest within the UK.

"In Scotland, males and females can expect to live shorter lives (by 2.5 years and 2.1 years respectively) than in England, where male and female life expectancy is the highest in the UK."

Amongst European Union countries, male life expectancy was highest in Sweden (79.9 years), 3.4 years higher than in Scotland.

Female life expectancy was highest in Spain (85.1 years), 4.4 years higher than in Scotland.

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