Is Wigan an unhealthy place to live?

Men in Wigan can expect three years less in good health than the average across England, according to startling new statistics.

Wednesday, 5th June 2019, 11:15 am
The figures were calculated by the Office for National Statistics

Women in the area also fair badly, according to the Public Health England figures, with the average healthy life expectancy for a woman more than a year below the national average.

Charity the Health Foundation said the figures show an “astonishing level of variation” in the number of years people can expect to remain healthy dependant on their social and economic circumstances.

PHE’s data shows that the average healthy life expectancy of a man in Wigan between 2015 and 2017 was 60.5 years – 2.9 years less than the average of 63.4 across England.

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But the measure has improved – it is around 18 months higher than the 58.9 healthy years expected between 2009 and 2011.

The figures were calculated by the Office for National Statistics.

They looked at the death rates in each area, as well as surveys in which people self-reported their level of health.

Meanwhile, women in Wigan could expect to live 62.6 years in good health, the figures from 2015 to 2017 show.

It has improved by around 31 months since 2009 to 2011, but remains below the national average of 63.4 years.

For 2015 to 2017, the lowest healthy life expectancy for men was to be found in Blackpool, 54.7 years.

While in Rutland people could expect 69.8 years of good health – 15 years longer.

In comparison, the gap between the best and worst areas was around 14 years in 2009 to 2011.

Jo Bibby, director of health at the Health Foundation said that the Government was on track to miss its commitment to ensure that people can enjoy at least five extra healthy, independent years of life by 2035.

She said: “These latest figures reveal once more an astonishing level of variation in people’s health.

“This is due to their social and economic circumstances.

“People in the poorest areas can expect to live just 52 years in good health.

“But these findings are not new news and it is now time for the Government to take action.

“To reduce these stark inequalities, cross-government action and investment is needed on the wider determinants that influence our health.

“This includes action to tackle poverty and ensuring that everyone has access to affordable healthy food, well-designed transport systems, and good quality housing, work and education.”

A spokesman for the Department of Health and Social Care said: “We want everyone to have five extra years of healthy, independent life by 2035.

“We are committed to ensuring everyone gets excellent healthcare no matter where they live.

“Our Long Term Plan for the NHS will reduce health inequalities, backed by an extra £33.9 billion in cash terms a year by 2023-24.”