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Statistical news release

Published: 25 Sep 2018 09:31

Latest estimates indicate life expectancy for Scotland has stalled.

Statistics published today by National Records of Scotland (NRS), as part of the National Life Tables, show that life expectancy for those born in Scotland in 2015-2017 was 77.0 years for males and 81.1 years for females. This represents a slight decrease over the last year following three years with little or no change, indicating a stall in life expectancy improvements in Scotland

Life expectancy at birth:

  • Life expectancy for those born in 2015-2017 was 77.0 years for males and 81.1 years for females
  • Over the past 35 years life expectancy in Scotland has increased by 7.9 years for males and 5.8 years for females
  • Between 2014-2016 and 2015-2017 life expectancy decreased by approximately 0.1 years for both males and females. This is the first time that life expectancy estimates have decreased for both sexes in the past 35 years
  • There was very little change between the 2012-2014 and 2014-2016 life expectancy estimates, indicating that life expectancy has stalled in Scotland
  • Female life expectancy has remained higher than male life expectancy throughout the last 35 years. However, the gap has decreased from 6.2 years for people born in 1980-1982 to 4.1 years for people born in 2015-2017
  • The 2016-based population projections for Scotland project that life expectancy will increase in the future, reaching 81.7 years for males and 84.5 years for females by 2041

Scotland's life expectancy compared to the rest of the UK:

  • Scotland has the lowest life expectancy of all UK countries.

Between 2014-2016 and 2015-2017 life expectancy for the UK as a whole remained virtually unchanged. There was a very slight increase for males in England but decreases for males in Northern Ireland and males and females in Wales similar to those seen in Scotland.