Scottish life expectancy 'still lowest in UK'

elderly man in hospital Image copyright Thinkstock

Life expectancy for Scottish men and women has continued to improve - but they still die younger on average than people anywhere else in the UK.

Statistics from the National Records of Scotland put life expectancy at 77.1 years for baby boys born in the past three years, and 81.1 years for girls.

This was two years lower than the UK average for men, and 1.7 years lower than the female average.

And there were considerable differences between different areas of Scotland.

It showed males in East Dunbartonshire can expect to live for 80.5 years - 7.1 years longer than in Glasgow City, which has the lowest life expectancy in the UK at 73.4 years.

Females in East Dunbartonshire can expect to live for 83.5 years - 4.8 years longer than in West Dunbartonshire, which also has the lowest in the UK at 78.7 years.

In general, male and female life expectancy has tended to increase over time, by 5.8 years for women and by eight years for men since 1980-1982 - meaning the gap between the sexes has also narrowed.

However, the gap between Scottish and English life expectancy for both males and females has widened since 1980-1982 by 0.3 years for males and by 0.2 years for females.

And Scots of both sexes continue to have the lowest life expectancy at birth of any of the four UK countries.

In Scotland, men and women can expect to live shorter lives, by 2.3 years and 1.9 years respectively, than in England, where life expectancy is the highest in the UK.

Among the 28 EU countries, male life expectancy was highest in Cyprus (80.9 years), 3.8 years higher than in Scotland.

Female life expectancy was highest in Spain (86.2 years), 5.1 years higher than in Scotland.

The report also showed that males in Scotland could expect to live for a further 17.3 years at age 65 and females a further 19.7 years.

Despite Scotland's comparatively low life expectancy, a European survey published last month suggested the country had the highest quality of life of the four UK nations.

The findings considered factors such as health, safety, access to education and personal rights.

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