The Department of Health today published the statistical report ‘Health Inequalities – Life Expectancy Decomposition 2019’.
This publication is one of a series of reports produced as part of the NI Health & Social Care Inequalities Monitoring System (HSCIMS).
This report explores the extent to which mortality within certain age groups and causes of death contribute to variations in life expectancy between time periods, genders, deprivation levels, and urban and rural areas in Northern Ireland.
- Over the last five years, life expectancy has increased by 0.5 years for males and remained the same for females, standing at 78.5 years for males and 82.3 years for females in 2015-17.
- Reduced mortality for a number of causes added 0.8 years (half of which can be attributed to circulatory disease) to male life expectancy. This was offset by 0.3 years due to a rise in mortality for a range of causes.
- Decreased mortality rates among 50-89 year olds contributed to the majority of the increase in male life expectancy.
- Any increase in female life expectancy over the period was negated by increased mortality for a range of causes, a third of which was attributable to mental and behavioural disorders; mainly vascular dementia or Alzheimer’s disease.
- Increases in mortality for females aged under 40 was largely offset by a reduction in deaths among older age groups, with the exclusion of those aged 60-69 and 90 and over.
- Males born in 2015-17 could expect to live 3.9 years fewer than their female counterparts.
- Higher male mortality from cancers and circulatory disease accounted for 1.4 years and 1.2 years of the gap respectively.
- Suicide was also much higher among males and contributed a further 0.6 years towards the gender gap.
- Male life expectancy for those living in the most deprived areas was 74.2 years, 7.1 years less than that in the least deprived areas (81.3 years).
- Cancer (1.6 years) and circulatory diseases (1.4 years) each contributed almost a quarter of the deprivation gap respectively.
- Suicide was the third highest contributor representing 1.2 years of the deprivation gap. Of this, two-thirds (0.8 years) was attributable to males between the ages of 20 and 39 years.
- Females in the most deprived areas had a life expectancy of 79.6 years, 4.5 years lower than that in the least deprived areas (84.1 years).
- Cancer related mortality accounted for almost a third (1.4 years) of the female deprivation gap. Of this, over half (0.8 years) was attributable to lung cancer.
- Life expectancy for males living in urban areas was 77.2 years, 3.1 years less than males living in rural areas (80.3 years).
- Female life expectancy in urban areas was 81.6 years, 2.1 years less than those living in rural areas (83.7 years).
- Cancer related mortality contributed a quarter of both the male and female rurality gaps.
Notes to editors:
1. The Health and Social Care Inequalities Monitoring System (HSCIMS) comprises a basket of indicators which are monitored over time to assess area differences in mortality, morbidity, utilisation of and access to health and social care services in the north of Ireland, and has expanded over recent years to include additional work streams relating to health inequality.
2. While the life expectancy figures presented were previously published in the Public Health NI Fact Sheet and Health Inequalities Annual Reports, this report explores the extent to which mortality within certain age groups and causes of death contribute to the observed variations in life expectancy between time periods, genders, deprivation levels and between urban and rural areas.
3. This report defines the 20% most and least deprived Super Output Areas according to the 2017 Northern Ireland Multiple Deprivation Measure (NIMDM) produced by NISRA. The definitions for rural and urban areas are consistent with those outlined in the ‘Review of the Statistical Classification and Delineation of Settlements’ (NISRA 2015).
4. All NI analyses and calculations are based on official deaths data sourced from the General Register Office and population data published by NISRA. The methodology used to calculate life expectancy is consistent with that used in the HSCIMS bulletins. Analyses of other countries in the UK and the RoI are based on official deaths and population data sourced from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), Central Statistics Office (CSO) and Eurostat.
5. All HSCIMS reports and data tables are available to view and download from the Departmental website.
6. Further information on the Health and Social Care inequalities Monitoring System is available from:
Public Health Information & Research Branch
Department of Health
Tel: 028 90 522501 or 028 90 522591
7. For media enquiries please contact the DoH Press Office 028 9052 0575 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Out-of-hours please contact the Duty Press Officer on 028 9037 8110.
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