Visit Britain – Stark differences in life expectancy highlighted by landmarks map
University researchers have highlighted the stark inequalities in life expectancy across the UK by producing a map of famous places and landmarks around the country.
Kingsley Purdam and Harry Taylor from The University of Manchester have highlighted how life expectancy can vary by more than 25 years between areas – for example, life expectancy is 63 for men and 70 for women around Celtic Park in Glasgow, around Blackpool Tower it is 70 years for men and 79 for women and in London’s Knightsbridge, it is 89 for men and 92 for women.
Despite long-term increases in life expectancy in the UK since Victorian times, it is still lower than in many other countries with comparable levels of economic development.
Several studies have indicated that the life expectancy gap between economically deprived and prosperous areas is increasing, and evidence suggests that life expectancy has either stalled or began to decline in many areas of the country.
A decade of cuts to vital public services provided by local authorities and the National Health Service have been claimed to be impacting on health outcomes – for example, research by Age UK has highlighted how an estimated 1.8 million older people currently have unmet social care needs.
“The famous places and landmarks life expectancy map is designed to raise public and policy maker awareness of the inequalities in life expectancy in the UK,” said Dr Kingsley Purdam. “A number of interrelated factors are associated with lower life expectancy including: access to health care, income level, employment status, smoking and alcohol consumption, diet, exercise, the local environment, social status and social isolation.”
The research is set to be published in the journal Environment and Planning A.