Boys born today in Blackpool have the lowest life expectancy rates in the country.
Although life expectancy at birth for males in England and Wales increased from 78.1 years in 2007 to 2009 to 79.3 years in 2011 to 2013, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), boys born in the resort can expect to live for 74.3 years – the highest is South Cambridgeshire, where the figure is 8.7 years longer at 83 years.
The female figure increased from 82.2 to 83 years over the same period.
But the gap between the sexes continues to narrow, falling from 4.1 years in 2007/09 to 3.7 years in 2011/13.
The data shows life expectancy varies between areas. Girls born in Chiltern can expect to live longest (86.4 years), more than six years longer than Manchester, where life expectancy was lowest (80).
Life expectancy varied across English regions, although statisticians said the gap between regions is narrowing. Life expectancy at birth and at age 65 increased at a faster pace in London, the North East and the North West compared with other regions between 2007/09 and 2011/13.
The ONS report said: “Studies have shown the selective migration of healthy individuals from poorer health areas into better health areas as well as socio-economic, environmental, educational and lifestyle factors are largely responsible for the excess mortality and lower life expectancy in northern regions.
“Nevertheless, life expectancy continues to increase at a faster pace in the north and London than other southern regions.”
One possible explanation is the varying rate of decrease in deaths from avoidable causes across English regions.
“Since 2001, the greatest reduction in deaths rates for potentially avoidable causes such as certain cancers, respiratory and heart disease have been seen in the North East, North West and London.”
Simon Bottery, director of policy at the charity Independent Age, said: “While, we are in the main, living longer lives, these new figures show the health inequality gap is widening.
“There are clear variations between different areas of the country, with higher life expectancy in the South and lower life expectancy in North.
“While there are a range of reasons for such regional variations, this continued increase in health inequalities must be addressed. Sufficient services and resources should be made available to support older people’s health and social care needs in local areas most at risk.”