Life expectancy gap widening in Mid-Ulster

Life expectancies are increasing
Life expectancies are increasing

People in the new Mid Ulster council area are living longer but there is a wide disparity in life expectancies between the different districts.

That’s one of the findings contained in the latest life expectancy rates published by the Department of Finance and Personnel.

Men living in the South Tyrone area can expect to live to 77.8, which is more than two years less than men living in the Mid Ulster constituency area, which covers the Cookstown,Magherafelt and East Tyrone areas, which can boast the greatest longevity in the North.

Incredibly, the life expectancy of those men is similar to that of Luxemborg, which ranks at number ten in the world ahead of countries such as England, the Republic of Ireland, the US, Germany and Canada.

It means that Mid-Ulster men now belong to an exclusive club which includes Iceland, where the highest male life expectancies were found, Switzerland (80), Australia (80), Israel (80), and Singapore (also 80).

Women in the South Tyrone area can now expect to live to 82.9 years, the fifth highest age in Northern Ireland, behind the Mid-Ulster constituency (83), North Antrim (83.5), (83.4) and West Tyrone (83.3).

Men and women living in Belfast have the lowest life expectancy in the North, with the expected age ranging from 74.1 in West Belfast to 77.9 in South Belfast.

In the UK, life expectancy for a boy born in 2012 is 79 and for a girl it is 83.

A health survey conducted by the Department of Health put the life expectancy gap in part down to high mortality rates from cancer and circulatory diseases in deprived areas for both men and women, while accidents and suicide also contributed to earlier deaths among men with deprived backgrounds.

Across the world women typically live longer than men.

In high-income countries they live for an average of six years longer than men, and in low-income countries they live for an average of three years longer.