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Life expectancy stalls in Scotland, new figures show

Data reveals a fall in number of centenarians

Jo Carlowe

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

Life expectancy has stalled in Scotland, new figures show.

The statistics* published today by National Records of Scotland reveals there has been virtually no change in life expectancy in Scotland since the 2012-2014 estimates. 

Life expectancy at birth for those born in Scotland in 2016-2018 was 77.0 years for males and 81.1 years for females. Between 2015-2017 and 2016-2018 life expectancy has changed by less than 0.1 years for both males and females.

There was also almost no change between the 2012-2014 and 2016-2018 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 2016-2018.

Since 1980-1982, life expectancy in Scotland has increased by 7.9 years for males and 5.8 years for females. 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.

In addition, the number of people aged 100 and over has dropped to 810 in 2018 from 860 in 2017, according to today’s figures. The largest number of centenarians on record was 920 in 2014. The decrease since then corresponds to lower birth rates during the First World War and a recent stall in life expectancy.


*Life expectancy at Scotland level, 2016-2018. Figures prepared by the National Records of Scotland, 25 September 2019.

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