UK lagging behind Europe on life expectancy gains

The UK is lagging behind European countries in relation to improvements in life expectancy, research shows.

The Financial Times reports data from Club Vita, the organisation that advises life and pension providers, which shows life expectancy is improving in parts of Europe but is not going up in the UK.

Club Vita analysed changes in life expectancy from birth between 2011 and 2016. Longevity improved by a few months for men in the UK in that period but there was no change for women.

Indeed at the end of 2016, life expectancy for men in the UK was 79.4 and for women it was 83.

The study showed life expectancy improved for men and women at faster rates in countries including Germany, Greece, Portugal, Spain and Italy.

The FT reports that in Switzerland, life expectancy for men is almost 82 and for women it is 85.6 years.

The only country that was behind the UK was Iceland.

Club Vita says there are several reasons for the lack of improve in life expectancy including increasing demand on the health system from an ageing population in a time of austerity, bad weather impacting those who are most frail and harsh winter flu seasons.

The FT says providers have already started responding to the life expectancy trends by releasing reserves they had held against the cost of annuities.

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There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. One of the main reasons stated is “demands on the health service from an ageing population in times of austerity”.
    So how does it explain that longevity has continued to increase faster in Greece, where “austerity” does not mean continued increases in pensions by at least 2.5% per annum but actual real cuts in pension income…again and again and again?!!!

  2. Not only lagging on life expectancy, but we have the worst record on child mortality in the developed world. We also have the worst rates of cancer recovery in Western Europe.

    Not surprising when you consider that we also have the lowest numbers of doctors per 1,000 of population that our contemporaries in Western Europe and also spend the least as a percentage of GDP on healthcare. And we are the ones who constantly boast at how wonderful our NHS is.

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