Children born in wealthier parts of the West Midlands can expect to live up to three years longer than those elsewhere, new figures have revealed.
Data from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows significant differences in life expectancy between different regions - and even between different towns and cities in each region.
Some of us live longer than others
Life expectancy for girls
Life expectancy for boys
In the West Midlands metropolitan area, life expectancy is highest in wealthy Solihull, at 80.3 years for boys and 84.8 years for girls.
And it is lowest in the Sandwell Council area, where it is 77 years for boys and 81.4 years for girls.
It means boys in Sandwell might expect to have a lifespan three years shorter than those in Solihull - and six years shorter than those in South Cambridgeshire, which has the highest male life expectancy in the country at 83 years.
And girls in Sandwell might have lifespans three years shorter than those in Solihull and five years shorter than those in Chiltern, where female life expectancy is 86.4 years.
The statistics reveal the average expected lifespan of a child born in each area, based on current mortality rates.
Separate studies by the ONS have highlighted the link between wealth and lifespans, with people in the most deprived areas dying earlier.
But life expectancy is rising everywhere
Male life expectancy in the West Midlands is now 78.8 years, up from 75.6 ten years ago, while female life expectancy in the region is now 82.8 years, up from 80.4 ten years ago.
The figures do not predict how long a child born today will actually live, because they do not take into account possible changes in medical technology, income or lifestyles in future years. They show average lifespans in each local authority area based on today’s mortality rates.
Expected lifespan for boys in the West Midlands
Expected lifespan for girls in the West Midlands
Simon Bottery, director of policy at the charity Independent Age, said: “While there are a range of reasons for such regional variations, this continued increase in health inequalities must be addressed. Sufficient services and resources should be made available to support older people’s health and social care needs in local areas most at risk.”
A study by the ONS published earlier this year found there was “substantial inequality” in life expectancy between the least and the most deprived areas in England, as well as between newborn baby boys and girls.
It said: “Baby boys living in the most deprived areas in England in 2010-12 can expect to live 7.5 years less than those in least deprived areas, as well as being expected to live 4.9 years less than their female counterparts.
“Despite this, life expectancy across England has actually increased between 2002-04 and 2010-12 and some inequalities have reduced.”