On Thursday 7 December, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) released data which demonstrates the terrible mess the UK is in. Because one graph shows the worst outlook of this century so far. And some believe the blame lies at the government’s door.
The ONS has released its latest Health State Life Expectancies report. It details the current life expectancy for people, trends and geographical breakdowns. But it also predicts by how much the life expectancy of children born now will increase.
And its latest predictions are worrying. This is the estimated extra number of months a person can expect to live, on a rolling comparison, for those born since 2001:
It shows that males born between 2004 and 2006 had an average life expectancy 12.3 months longer than those born between 2001 and 2003. For females, the gain was 9.2 months. But now, males born between 2014 and 2016 can only expect to live three months longer than those born between 2011 and 2013. And for females, the gain is down to 1.6 months.
The ONS also shows how may areas of the UK had a “statistically significant” gain in newborn life expectancy. And again, the numbers have collapsed:
There has also been a collapse in certain areas since 2010. For example, males born in Hartlepool across the 2001-2006 period saw a 12.8-month gain in life expectancy. Over the latest five-year span, their life expectancy has actually fallen by 14.3 months:
Much the same happens in Oldham:
And in the Scottish Borders:
Also in South Northamptonshire:
Life expectancy: the ONS says…
The Canary asked the ONS about the collapse. It said:
Academia have pointed to a number of potential reasons such as the rise in dementia deaths, virulent strains of flu affecting older people and ineffective vaccination against flu, particularly in 2015, an ageing population, residual impact of the great recession and austerity consequences and some have pointed to health and social care provision… ONS has not done any study of these… so cannot comment definitely on the factors at work.
But Prof Danny Dorling of Oxford University says of stalling life expectancy and future predictions:
The most plausible explanation would blame the politics of austerity, which has had an excessive impact on the poor and the elderly… The stalling of life expectancy was the result of political choice.
It is not difficult to guess the likely cause… If we do not address the policies that have caused these changes, the ONS projections will become reality.
A decline in life expectancy in the fifth largest economy on the planet is not just a cause for concern; it is a damning indictment of the state of our society.
– Join The Canary, so we can keep holding the powerful to account.
Featured image via screengrab
We need your help to keep speaking the truth
Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.
Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.
We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.
In return, you get:
* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop
Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.
With your help we can continue:
* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do
We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?