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Southerners Live 10 Years Longer Than Northerners

Official figures revealed that people born in Southern England live on average nearly 10 years longer than Northerners.

The North-South divide in life expectancy prompted warnings that pension rules may have to be adjusted by regions.

A boy born in East Dorset can look forward to an average 83 years of life, compared to 73.8 years for a boy born in Blackpool on the same day.

In central London male life expectancy is 81.2, the statistics for England and Wales released by the Office for National Statistics reveal. But the difference in Northern England is clear.

Average age of death is 74.1 years in Manchester, 75.6 in Salford and Burnley and 75.7 in Blackburn and Liverpool.

Life expectancy for women is also highest in East Dorset, at 86.4 years. The lowest is Manchester at 79.3 years.

Malcolm McLean, pension consultant at Barnett Waddingham, said: “The contrast in life expectancy at birth is stark. It is an indication, perhaps, of the impact of very different lifestyles and wealth factors prevailing in those areas.

“The differences appear to support the case for regional annuity rates, while underlining the problems inherent in having a single state pension age for all.”

Male mortality rates have fallen by almost half in the past three decades and by more than a third for women, the statistics show.

Better food and huge strides in medical treatment are behind the fall. Current life expectancy at birth for all of England and Wales is 78.8 years for men and 82.8 for women.

But the North-South death divide is not new. Research by family tree website Genes Reunited showed that nearly 150 years ago people died far younger on average – but it was still a disadvantage to live in the North.

The best place to be born in 1866 was Norwich. Men there averaged 38 years of life. In Northern cities it was a mere 27 years.


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