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Latest Life Expectancy report for Northern Ireland released


The Department of Health today published the statistical report ‘Life Expectancy in Northern Ireland 2017-19’.


The Department of Health are the official producers of life expectancy figures for Northern Ireland. This report presents the latest estimates of life expectancy, healthy life expectancy and disability-free life expectancy for Northern Ireland. The report includes an analysis of deprivation and change in life expectancy including the extent to which mortality within certain age groups and causes of death contributed to the change. In addition, life expectancy estimates are presented for Trusts and Local Government Districts.


Key Findings


Current Life Expectancy Estimates


  • In 2017-19, life expectancy in Northern Ireland (NI) was 78.8 years for males and 82.6 years for females, similar to last year (2016-18).

  • Male life expectancy was highest in the Lisburn & Castlereagh LGD (80.1 years) and the lowest in the Belfast LGD (76.1 years).

  • As with males, life expectancy for females was highest in the Lisburn and Castlereagh LGD (83.5 years) and lowest in the Belfast LGD (81.0 years).


Decomposition of Life Expectancy Trend over the Last 5 Years


  • Male life expectancy has increased by 0.4 years from 78.3 years in 2013-15, while female life expectancy has increased by 0.3 years from 82.3 years over the same period.

  • Decreased mortality rates among 60-89 year olds contributed to the majority of the increase in male life expectancy over the period.

  • Reduced mortality from circulatory disease and cancer, among other causes, increased male life expectancy by 0.9 years. However this increase was offset by 0.5 years due to a rise in mortality for a range of causes, including non-traffic related accidents and other circulatory illness.

  • Compared with the previous 5-year period (2009-11 to 2013-15), when male life expectancy increased by 0.9 years, improvements have slowed down. This can largely be attributed to the reduction in mortality from circulatory disease being only 0.2 years compared with a reduction of 0.6 years in the previous period.

  • As with males, decreased mortality rates among 60-89 year olds in females contributed to the majority of the increase in female life expectancy over this period.

  • An improvement of 0.7 years in female life expectancy, mainly due to reduced mortality from circulatory disease and cancer, was offset by 0.4 years due to increased mortality from mental and behavioural disorders (mainly dementia) and non-traffic related accidents.

  • As with males, the positive contribution to female life expectancy since 2013-15 from reduced circulatory mortality was half that when compared with the previous period (2009-11 to 2013-15) when life expectancy increased by 0.4 years, however the overall improvements in life expectancy have remained similar.


Gender Gap


  • In 2017-19, females in NI could expect to live 3.8 years longer than males, a decrease of 0.2 years since 2013-15.

  • Across all age groups, male mortality was higher than that of females, with the exception of those aged 0-9 where there was no difference in the levels of mortality.

  • Higher male mortality from circulatory disease and cancer accounted for 1.2 and 0.8 years of the gap respectively. Mortality from accidental causes was also higher among males and accounted for a further 0.5 years of the gender gap.


Deprivation Gap


  • In 2017-19, males living in the 20% most deprived areas of NI could expect to live 74.7 years, 7.0 years less than those living in the 20% least deprived areas (81.6 years).

  • Female life expectancy in the 20% most deprived areas was 79.6 years, 4.8 years fewer than females in the 20% least deprived areas (84.5 years).

  • Higher mortality from circulatory disease (1.4 years) and cancer (1.3 years) combined, contributed more than a third of the male life expectancy deprivation gap. Cancer was the largest contributor to the female life expectancy deprivation gap.


Life Expectancy at 65


  • Life expectancy at age 65 in 2017-19 was 18.5 years for males and 20.8 years for females.

  • Over the last five years, there has been an increase in male life expectancy at 65 of 0.4 years. Over the same period, female life expectancy at age 65 has increased by 0.2 years.


Healthy and Disability-Free Life Expectancy


  • In 2017-19, male healthy life expectancy was 59.2 years, compared to 58.4 years in 2013-15. Female healthy life expectancy was 61.0 years in 2017-19 with no change from 2013-15.

  • The healthy life expectancy inequality gap was 13.5 years for males and 15.4 years for females in 2017-19, showing no significant change for both males (11.9 years) and females (14.3 years) from 2013-15.

  • Disability-free life expectancy was 57.9 years for males and 58.4 years for females in 2017-19, with neither showing a significant change from 2013-15.

  • The disability-free life expectancy inequality gap in 2017-19 was 12.5 years for males and 13.3 years for females. There has been no significant change for either males (11.5 years) or females (11.6 years) from 2013-15.


All HSCIMS reports and data tables are available to view and download from the Departmental website:


www.health-ni.gov.uk/articles/life-expectancy-northern-ireland






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