ILC responds to latest ONS life expectancy figures
Responding to the latest data from the ONS which suggests life expectancy growth continues to stall, David Sinclair, Director of the International Longevity Centre UK (ILC-UK), the UK’s specialist think tank on the impact of longevity on society, argues:
“Life expectancy is at the highest level it has ever been. And life expectancy at birth has increased by 4 weeks for men and women.”
“As the ONS point out, there is no simple answer as to why life expectancy growth is moving at a slower pace than a decade ago. Some argue government austerity or the social care crisis are to blame, others point to a slowdown in improvements to certain age-related diseases.”
“But underneath these headline rates lies another much deeper and more urgent scandal – the vast inequalities in life expectancy. The most deprived group of men live nine fewer years than the least deprived. And despite living less long, this group spends more time in poor health.”
“The Government’s target of five extra healthy, independent years of life by 2035 looks and feels a long way off today.”
“A growing older population could mean more older workers, more older consumers and more older people contributing to society through volunteering and caring. There really could be a longevity dividend for us all.”
“But the reality is, Government remains woefully unprepared for ageing. And we aren’t doing enough to tackle inequalities in life expectancy and healthy life expectancy. Our social care system is failing older people whilst younger people are saving too little for old age. A growing older population ought to be good news for individuals and society – but to realise that the Government must invest more in tackling inequalities.”
For press queries, please contact Lily Parsey at LilyParsey@ilcuk.org.uk or +44 7400 294 694 (WhatsApp).
The ILC is the UK’s specialist think tank on the impact of longevity on society, and what happens next.
We believe society has to adapt now so we can all enjoy the benefits of longevity.
We work with central government, local government, the private sector, and professional and academic associations to provoke conversations and pioneer solutions for a society where everyone can thrive, regardless of age.