Monday 26 February 2018

Britain is no country for the poor boys today who will become the shorter-lived old men of tomorrow

Britain in 1901
In the sunset of the Victorian period, there was a big disparity between the life expectancy of old men living in the wealthiest neighbourhoods as opposed to the poorest.

Britain in 2001
New research from the Longevity Science Panel has shown, once again, life expectancy diverging between England’s wealthiest and poorest neighbourhoods and this widening gap applies to boys born today and men already in older age. In 2001 a boy born in one of the most advantaged 20% of neighbourhoods could expect to outlive his counterpart in the least advantaged 20% by 7.2 years. By 2015 the gap had widened to 8.4 years.

Commenting on the research, LSP’s Dame Karen Dunnell said : “Dying earlier if you are poor is the most unfair outcome of all. So we should all be concerned about the growing divergence in rich-poor life expectancy. To reduce the risk of further widening, we need better understanding of the precise causes, followed by co-ordinated policy initiatives across health, work, welfare, pension and housing to improve outcomes for all.”

Co-author, Professor Steve Haberman, Professor of Actuarial Sciences, Cass Business School said :
“Our main finding is that the socioeconomic gap in life expectancy in England has widened over the last 15 years. This has happened despite life expectancy increasing across all sections of the population - it is clear that some groups are being left behind. As the population ages, these inequalities are likely to increase further. To solve this problem, we will need better coordinated policies involving central and local government, civil society and the private sector”.

Britain in 2018
A country where social progress has gone into reverse and widening disparities in wealth today will be reflected in widening lengths of longevity tomorrow. 

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