The data presented in this report shows there has been an overall upward trend in life expectancy at older ages in England since the early 1980s. More recent data from the early 2000s onwards shows there has also been an upward trend in the EU, the English regions and English local authorities. However, there are some fluctuations in these figures from year to year, particularly for the oldest age groups and for individual local authorities.
There was a fall in life expectancy at older ages in England in 2012 that is reflected across the EU. On the whole, data for 2013 do not show any further falls, although for some age groups there was not a return to 2011 levels, which were the highest to date. The upward trend in life expectancy in recent years has also flattened in some English regions, particularly for females.
Professor John Newton, Chief Knowledge Officer at Public Health England (PHE), said:
There has been significant interest already in these data. However, the analysis presented in this report suggests it is too early to conclude that there has been a significant change in the overall upward trend in life expectancy at older ages. Fluctuations like these have been seen before. PHE will continue to monitor the trends closely and will report on the figures for 2014 as soon as they are available.
PHE is planning further analysis of these recent trends in life expectancy and mortality, and will be inviting external experts to join a steering group for this work and publishing the results of further work as soon as it is available.
Read the ‘Recent trends in life expectancy at older ages’ report.