Responding to new ONS data on Health Inequalities published today, Ben Franklin, Senior Research Fellow at the International Longevity Centre - UK (ILC-UK) said:

“This data reveals that inequalities in health are most stark amongst the pre-retirement age bracket (ages 35-59).

Across the most deprived areas, 40.7% of people aged 50-54 rated their health as “not good” compared with just 11.6% of those living in the least deprived areas (see chart 1 below). Levels of deprivation then start to converge after retirement with increasingly similar proportions rating their health as “not good” after age 65 (see chart 2 below).

The data illustrates the importance of tackling health problems in the most deprived communities, way in advance of retirement. It also helps to explain why healthy life expectancy at 65 is so much lower across some local authorities than it is for others. While there are increasing pressures to work beyond “traditional” retirement age, inequalities in health are likely to mean that for many people living in deprived areas this will be highly challenging.”     




On 10th February 2014, a new report from ILC-UK argued that increasing the state pension age without taking into account the 18 year difference in healthy life expectancy across the UK, risked disadvantaging groups of older people.

The report “Linking state pension age to longevity: Tackling the fairness challenge”, published as part of the Age UK Research Fellowship demonstrated that measures such as healthy life expectancy and disability-free life expectancy vary significantly by region and social class, and in consequence particular groups are more likely to be disadvantaged by a rise in the state pension age than others.


The ONS have today (14 February) published: Health deprivation divide widest for middle aged.


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