UK life expectancy stalls for the first time since records began
Life expectancy in the UK has stopped increasing for the first time since records began.
The average age a girl born between 2015 and 2017 is expected to live to has stalled at 82.9 years old, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
For boys born in the same period the predicted age is also unchanged at 79.2 years.
The life expectancy figures in some parts of the UK have actually decreased, with both sexes in Scotland and Wales seeing a decline of 0.1 years.
Statistics for males in Northern Ireland saw a similar drop.
The ONS suggested there were no simple answers to why growth in life expectancy had stalled but added there had been a significant slowdown in improving mortality rates.
This had a lot to do with a high number of deaths in the UK from 2015 to 2017, which were partly blamed on increased flu activity.
The stalling of the figures has worried some people.
Janet Morrison, chief executive of Independent Age, the older peoples charity, thinks more needs to be done to figure out what is driving the changes.
She said: These figures starkly highlight the need for health and care services to adapt to our ageing population, and the government must ensure that these services can support people to live long, healthy, happy lives.
Sophie Sanders, of the ONS Centre for Ageing and Demography, confirmed the numbers showed the lowest improvements since it began collecting the data in 1980.
She added there had also been virtually no improvement in the likelihood of surviving to 90 since 2012 – 2014.
The ONS added life expectancy in the UK was not as high as many other comparable countries around the world.
Overall for the period of 2015 – 2017 Scotland has the lowest life expectancy, with 77.0 years for males and 81.1 years for females, in the UK.
Next up is Wales with 78.3 for males and 82.3 for females and second best is Northern Ireland with 78.4 for males and 82.3 for females.
England has the best life expectancy with 79.5 years for males and 83.1 years for females.
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