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Dandelion seed head - pinkLife expectancy

Life expectancy is a useful summary measure of the overall mortality and morbidity in a population.

There are different variations of life expectancy measures. The most used is life expectancy at a given age, often at birth or at age 65. This is the average number of years a person would live, if they experienced the area’s age-specific mortality rates for that time throughout their life. Figures reflect mortality among those living in an area in each time period, rather than what will be experienced throughout life among those born in the area. The figures are not therefore the number of years a baby born in the area could expect to live, both because the mortality rates of the area are likely to change in the future and because many of those born in the area will live elsewhere for at least some part of their lives.

Other variations include healthy life expectancy and disability-free life expectancy which try to consider quality of life in addition to quantity.

Life expectancy at birth

Life expectancy at age birth Males vs Females - Southampton trend 2001-03 to 2018-20 (pooled). Tap or click to view a larger image.Life expectancy at birth for males living in Southampton is currently estimated to be 78.3 years for the 2018-2020 (pooled) period, significantly lower than the England average male life expectancy of 79.6 years and ranked 5th lowest among our comparators. Male life expectancy had been increasing in Southampton up until the 2009-2011 (pooled) period, in line with the England trend. However, since 2010-2012 (pooled) male life expectancy has plateaued at the 78 year mark, failing to keep in line with national increases.

Female life expectancy at birth is 82.5 years (2018-2020 pooled), which is significantly lower than the national average of 83.1 years. In the 2009-2011 (pooled) period, Southampton females had the same life expectancy at birth as the national average at 82.7 years. However, between 2009-2011 (pooled) and 2018-2020 (pooled), the national average has continued to increase whilst Southampton has had a slight decrease. The chart shows the trend in life expectancy between 2001-2003 and 2018-2020 for males and females.

Breakdown of the life expectancy gap between the most and least deprived quintiles of Southampton by cause of death, 2020 to 2021 (Provisional). Click or tap for a larger image.Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) have produced an inequalities segment tool which shows the relative contribution that nine broad causes of death have on the gap between life expectancy for Southampton and that for England for the 2020 to 2021 period. Circulatory (20.5%) cancer (19.7%) and respiratory (19.2%) deaths are the largest groups contributing to the gap in male life expectancy compared to England. On closer inspection, the two largest causes are chronic lower respiratory disease followed by heart disease. For females, circulatory diseases (24.6%) is also the largest group contributing to the gap in female life expectancy compared to England, with respiratory diseases (23.6%), other causes (14.9%) and external causes (10.5%), cancer was only 3.5% for females, unlike for males where it was over 5 times higher. More detailed analysis shows the single largest cause of the gap in female life expectancy is chronic lower respiratory diseases followed by other causes and lung cancer. COVID-19 contributed 4.3% to the gap in male life expectancy and 4.2% to the gap for female life expectancy.

Life expectancy at birth by Local Deprivation Quintile (IMD2019): 2018 to 2020 (pooled). Tap or click for a larger image.In addition to the inequality gap between Southampton and England, there are statistically significant inequalities in life expectancy between neighbourhoods within the city. At a ward level, the latest data for the 2018-2020 period shows that Bevois has the lowest life expectancy for females at 78.5 years, whilst Shirley has the highest at 85.4 years. Bevois also has the lowest life expectancy for males at 73.3 years, whilst Bassett has the highest at 83.1 years. At a neighbourhood level, males living in the 20% most deprived areas of the city live on average 6.9 years less than those living in the 20% least deprived areas. Females in the 20% most deprived areas live 4.6 years less than those in the 20% least deprived areas (based on local deprivation quintiles). There is no evidence that this inequality gap in life expectancy is narrowing over time. More information is available in the health inequalities section.

Life expectancy and mortality dashboard
Visualisation

Life expectancy at 65 years

Life expectancy at age 65 years for males and females. Southampton and England trend 2001-03 to 2018-20 (pooled). Tap or click to view a larger image.Life expectancy at 65 in Southampton mirrors the trends seen for life expectancy at birth for both males and females. Male life expectancy at 65 peaked at 18.3 years in 2009-2011, slightly higher than the national average of 18.25 years. Since then, the England average has risen to 18.7 years, whilst Southampton has fallen to 17.9 years, which is statistically significantly lower. Female life expectancy at 65 remains higher than their male counterparts at 20.7 years in 2018-2020. However, this is a decrease from the 2009-11 (pooled) period where it peaked at 21.3 years. In comparison, life expectancy for England has increased from 20.9 years in 2009-2011 to 21.1 years in 2018-2020, statistically significantly higher than life expectancy in Southampton.

Since the 2001-2003 (pooled) period, Southampton’s life expectancy at 65 has been consistently lower than the South East regional average as well as local neighbours, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, for both males and females.

At a sub-city level, Bevois ward has the lowest male life expectancy at 65, at 14.8 years, whilst Woolston ward has the lowest female life expectancy at 65, at 18.0 years. The highest life expectancy at 65, was recorded in Bassett ward for males (20.6 years) and in Shirley ward for females (23.3 years). Overall, at a ward level there is an inequality gap of 5.3 years for males, and 5.8 years for females. The life expectancy at 65 inequality gap, between those living in the 20% most deprived neighbourhoods in the city and those living in the 20% least deprived neighbourhoods, is 4.3 years for males and 3.6 years for females.

Life expectancy and mortality dashboard
Visualisation

Healthy life expectancy

Healthy life expectancy at birth males and females Southampton and England trend 2009-11 to 2018-20. Tap or click for a larger image.Healthy life expectancy (HLE) is an estimate of the number of years lived in good health (rather than with a disability or in poor health), based on mortality rates and prevalence of self-reported good health.

In 2018-20, in Southampton, healthy life expectancy for males was 61.4 years, which is lower than the national average of 63.1 years. For females, health life expectancy in Southampton is 63.1 years, which again is lower than the national average of 63.9 years. This suggests that in Southampton there is a wider healthy life expectancy gap (1.7 years) between males and females than that seen nationally (0.8 years).

Whilst healthy life expectancy nationally has remained relatively stable over the last decade, there has been more variation in Southampton, particularly for females. In 2018-20 (pooled) period, female healthy life expectancy increased to 63.1 years after dramatically falling to 59.8 years in 2016-2018.

Further information and data on healthy life expectancy can be found in the life expectancy and mortality dashboard.

Life expectancy and mortality dashboard
Visualisation

Disability-free life expectancy

Disability-free life expectancy at birth Southampton trend 2014-16 to 2018-20 (pooled). Click or tap for a larger imageDisability-free life expectancy (DFLE) is an estimate of the number of years lived without a long-term physical or mental health condition that limits daily activities.

In 2018-20, males in Southampton could expect to live 61.1 years disability-free, which is lower than the England average of 62.4 years, although not statistically significantly so. Despite females living longer than males, in Southampton and nationally, women live fewer years disability-free. In Southampton females have a disability-free life expectancy of 59.1 years, which is slightly lower than the England average of 60.9 years, although not statistically significantly so. Since 2014-2016, disability-free life expectancy of both males and females has decreased in Southampton at a quicker rate than nationally.

Disability-free life expectancy may differ from healthy life expectancy due to the self-reported nature of how the measures are calculated. For example, an individual may be disability-free but self-report that they are not in good health or vice versa.

Resources

Life expectancy and mortality dashboard

The life expectancy and mortality dashboard presents a range of data regarding life expectancy and mortality, to provide intelligence to help drive strategic decision making. Analysis includes benchmarking against statistical neighbours and trends over time for all indicators included. Some indicators include analysis at sub-city levels, by Southampton wards, primary care networks (PCNs) and deprivation quintiles.

Life expectancy and mortality dashboard
Visualisation

Data sources

Office for Health Improvement and Disparities (OHID) have produced several tools that allow for the exploration of life expectancy. The Fingertips tools produced by PHE bring together data on several indicators at local authority level and can be used to explore the data over time and between comparator areas. PHE have also produced an inequalities segment tool which provides information on the causes of death and age groups that are driving inequalities in life expectancy at local area level. Targeting the causes of death which contribute most to the life expectancy gap should have the biggest impact on reducing inequalities. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have produced several reports, tools and datasets that investigate life expectancy and mortality in detail.

OHID – Life expectancy segment tool
Dataset
OHID fingertips tool – life expectancy indicators
Dataset
OHID – Life expectancy calculation tool (xls)
Dataset
ONS – Life expectancy releases and their different uses
Report
ONS – Life expectancy estimates
Dataset
ONS - Health state life expectancies, UK: 2018 to 2020
Report
ONS - Life expectancy calculator
Visualisation

Last updated: 18 July 2022