Rich man, poor man: the 10 year gap in life-expectancy

07/06/19 . News

Men’s Health Forum has called for local action to tackle almost 10 year average gap in men’s life expectancy across every single local authority in England and Wales.

The Forum has published new analysis showing an average 9.5 year gap between the census wards with highest and lowest life expectancy across every local authority in England and Wales.

  • The biggest gap across England & Wales is between Warfield Harvest Ride census ward in Bracknell Forest which has a male life expectancy of 90 and Bloomfield ward in Blackpool which has a male life expectancy of 68 – a total of 22 years.
  • The biggest gap in a local authority was in Wrexham, Wales, which showed a 17-year gap in men’s life expectancy between the ‘Marford and Hoseley’ census ward and ‘Gwersyllt West’ census ward.
  • The biggest gap in a local authority in England was in North Somerset, which showed a 16-year gap in men’s life expectancy between the Gordano ward and Weston-super-Mare Central.
  • In London, the biggest gap was in Westminster with a 14 year male life-expectancy gap between Knightsbridge & Belgravia ward and Westbourne ward.

How does your local authority do? The figures for every region and local authority in England and Wales are here.

Chief Executive of the Men’s Health Forum, Martin Tod, said:

'Although men on average don’t live as long as women, the gap in life expectancy between men in the richest and poorest areas is much, much bigger than the gap between men and women.

Men face a bigger life expectancy gap than women. That’s one reason why, shockingly, one UK man in five in the UK still doesn’t live until 65. There’s a big difference in deaths from suicide, heart disease, diabetes and cancer – not just between men and women, but also between men in different areas.

We can’t afford any complacency: we want the government to ensure that there is targeted support where the need is greatest.

This year Men’s Health Week is focused on ‘men’s health by numbers’. We want every man to know where they are on weight, waist, blood pressure, alcohol, diet and exercise.

But we want the government to ensure that there’s a Men's Health Action Plan for every area which targets men with the poorest health so that they get the extra support they need.

This needs to include extra support for mental health and suicide prevention, targeted NHS health checks to help tackle the terrible rates of heart disease and better tailored programmes designed to reach men in the greatest need and help them improve their health.

The Men’s Health Forum need your support

It’s tough for men to ask for help but if you don’t ask when you need it, things generally only get worse. So we’re asking.

In the UK, one man in five dies before the age of 65. If we had health policies and services that better reflected the needs of the whole population, it might not be like that. But it is. Policies and services and indeed men have been like this for a long time and they don’t change overnight just because we want them to.

It’s true that the UK’s men don’t have it bad compared to some other groups. We’re not asking you to ‘feel sorry’ for men or put them first. We’re talking here about something more complicated, something that falls outside the traditional charity fund-raising model of ‘doing something for those less fortunate than ourselves’. That model raises money but it seldom changes much. We’re talking about changing the way we look at the world. There is nothing inevitable about premature male death. Services accessible to all, a population better informed. These would benefit everyone - rich and poor, young and old, male and female - and that’s what we’re campaigning for.

We’re not asking you to look at images of pity, we’re just asking you to look around at the society you live in, at the men you know and at the families with sons, fathers and grandads missing.

Here’s our fund-raising page - please chip in if you can.