Healthy life expectancy

This report was published in March 2011.

“Although both life expectancy (LE) and healthy life expectancy (HLE) at birth have been increasing in Scotland in recent years, they tend to be lower than in the UK as a whole. Indeed, Scotland has one of the lowest levels of LE in Western Europe. The Scottish Government has included targets to increase HLE in Scotland Performs.

This publication is an update of the Healthy life expectancy topic on the ScotPHO website. Previously unpublished LE and HLE data are included for Scotland for 2009 and the key findings are discussed below. In addition, the policy context page and data pages on intermediate geographies and UK comparisons have been updated with previously published data from other sources.

Key Points

  • Underlying trends in both LE and HLE at birth show a general improvement in Scotland over recent years.
  • There is a major discontinuity in the HLE series between 2008 and 2009 due to a change in methodology to align with the European Union. For each sex, the estimate of HLE at birth for Scotland for 2009 is over 8 years lower, and cannot be considered as part of the same series as earlier years. The 2009 estimate will become the first point in a new time trend for future years.
  • The most recent single year estimates for Scotland are for the average boy born in 2009 to live to 76.0 years, 60.0 of these in ‘healthy’ health. The average girl born in 2009 would be expected to live to 80.6 years, 62.2 of them in ‘healthy’ health.”

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