Some of us will be blessed with a long life.

Others pass away too soon.

But it’s not all down to luck.

There’s a link between how much money you have and how long you live.

It’s not an iron rule, of course. There are plenty of exceptions.

But on average, poor people die first.

Official statistics show average life expectancy for men in the wealthiest parts of the country - the top 10 per cent - is 83.3 years.

But in the poorest parts of the country - the bottom ten per cent in terms of wealth - life expectancy for men is 74 years.

So if you live in a wealthy area you might live more than nine years longer than those in a poorer area.

The difference is also stark for women.  Average life expectancy ranges from 86.2 years for those in the richest areas to 78.7 years for those in the poorest areas.

What do we mean by a richer area? The Office for National Statistics provides a breakdown of where different parts of the country fit in.

Experts measure these things by giving each area an “index of multiple deprivation” rating from one to 10. The lower the rating, the poorer the area.

 

Even within the same town or city, there are huge variations.

For example, parts of Sutton Trinity Ward in Sutton Coldfield, Birmingham, have very a rating of 10, which basically means it’s a wealthy area. People living here are likely, on average, to have the longest lifespans.

But parts of Shard End Ward, also in Birmingham, have a rating of 1, which means there’s a lot of poverty. People living here are likely to have the shortest lifespans.

Similar variations exist across the city, and within the other towns and cities of the West Midlands.

So this isn’t all about the south being richer than the north and the Midlands (there are some parts of London that are very poor). But it is about the huge inequality that exists across the UK.

It seems bizarre that in a wealthy country, where we are supposed to believe in fairness, we have gaps in wealth so huge that some people actually die years earlier as a result.

 

The Office for National Statistics also published figures last week showing 1.4 million people in the wider West Midlands region are living in poverty (defined as living in a household with less than 60% of median income, after housing costs).

This is 24 per cent of the region’s population.

The figure hasn’t changed much in recent years. When Labour was in power, it ranged from 23 per cent to 25 per cent.

But equally, it hasn’t got better either.

These are the types of issues that any government should be addressing.

As things stand, there’s no chance of that happening. Brexit is dominating everything at Westminster. Our politicians have little time to think about anything else.