THE further North people live, the shorter their lives are expected to be.

The life expectancy data published by the Office for National Statistics is laid bare and shows where people can expect to live the longest around England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Women born in the London borough of Camden have the highest life expectancies overall, but those in Hartlepool are not so lucky.

The numbers reveal a clear North-South divide, with good news for people living in London, the South and Home Counties, but damning data for those in Scotland and the


Previous research has shown those in more affluent areas have a greater life expectancy than those in poorer ones, but researchers have now found that the gap is widening, with experts saying lives are being lost to preventable and treatable diseases as a result of rising poverty.

While these findings are shocking they are sadly not surprising since the UK government has pursued policies for the past eight years that have fallen most heavily on the poorest.

It is unacceptable that there are still deep-rooted health inequalities across the UK.

Healthy life expectancy should not be a postcode lottery and it is absolutely essential

that we understand and address these inequalities.

Older age is not just about living longer, but also about having a good quality of life in your advancing years, no matter where you live.