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Life Expectancy UK Ranking: Why It's Worse Than Other G7 Countries?

As a UK resident, have you ever wondered why United Kingdom ranks lower than other G7 countries in terms of life expectancy? It's an alarming issue that affects us all, and yet it's one that receives limited attention. In this informative blog, we explore the reasons why the life expectancy UK ranking is so low, covering topics like healthy life expectancy, inequalities, and a comparison with other G7 countries. We delve into the statistics and discuss the factors contributing to the UK's ranking, including the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic. We also touch on what action needs to be taken urgently to reverse the trend, both at the government level and as individuals. Read on to find out more.

What is Healthy life expectancy?

Healthy life expectancy (HLE) is a metric that measures the average length of time an individual in a specific population is expected to live in good health. Various factors impact HLE, including dietary choices, exercise, access to healthcare services, socioeconomic status, and deprivation.

The UK has lower longevity than other G7 countries, with HLE being affected by lifestyle choices and availability of healthcare services. The issue of inequality in Britain's healthcare system is highlighted by this situation. Many UK residents are unable to access health care services and don't have access to resources to maintain a healthy way of life. Improvements need to be made to ensure every citizen is given a fair chance to have healthy ageing.


G7 Countries: A Comparison

The UK currently ranks lower than other G7 countries in terms of longevity, particularly in deprived areas. When comparing the health and social care systems of G7 countries, it’s evident that the UK needs improvement in providing timely and effective healthcare services to its citizens. Lifestyle choices and diets also play a significant role in affecting longevity. Some G7 countries have far better diets than the UK, which could contribute to their higher life expectancy.

To address the issue of poorer life expectancy rankings, it is essential to carefully examine and address all the factors that contribute to them, such as putting measures in place to promote healthier lifestyles and improving access to high-quality healthcare services. With a concerted effort, the UK has the potential to improve its longevity rankings in the future.

G7 Countries With Better Life Expectancy

The UK has consistently ranked lower than other G7 countries in terms of life expectancy, but which countries have better longevity? Japan holds the top spot with an average life expectancy of 84.5 years, followed by France (82.8 years), Canada (82.2 years), and Germany (81.3 years). The United States ranks lower at an average of 78.9 years. The factors affecting life expectancy UK vary from social and economic factors to healthcare and lifestyle choices and have been slowly rising for a number of years, unfortunately, still much slower than in other G7 countries. It's essential to adopt healthy habits to improve longevity, like incorporating regular exercise, quitting smoking, and maintaining a healthy diet. Now that we know the G7 countries with better longevity let us focus on improving the life expectancy UK as a whole.


Life Expectancy England: The Numbers

Life expectancy in the UK has been on the rise for the past seventy years. However, compared to other G7 countries, it has grown at a slower rate, with the exception of the United States. In 1952, the UK ranked seventh globally for life expectancy, behind countries like Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. Researchers from the University of Oxford and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine attribute this slower growth in life expectancy UK to the widening inequality gap. Despite being a developed nation, the UK has the widest social inequality gap among all European Union countries. As a result, improving life expectancy UK will require tackling the root causes of inequality.

Declining Life Expectancy UK Ranking

In recent years, the UK has been experiencing a decline in its longevity ranking compared to other G7 countries. The UK ranks lower in terms of life expectancy at birth than Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, and the US. There are several factors that contribute to this decline, including a lack of funding for public health services, an aging population, and an increase in preventable health issues such as obesity.


Impact of the covid-19 pandemic on Life Expectancy UK

The coronavirus pandemic has hit the United Kingdom hard and has had a significant impact on longevity. Due to the pandemic, life expectancy UK has seen a decline as compared to other G7 countries. The pandemic has resulted in a higher mortality rate among the elderly population and affected the availability of healthcare services. Being overweight or obese has also been linked to a higher risk of contracting Covid-19, and England's obesity rates are among the highest in Europe, which has worsened the situation and is one of the leading causes of death.

What Can Be Done?

To address this issue, there are several steps that can be taken. One way is to increase access to healthcare, including preventive care, through investments in public health initiatives such as improved sanitation and nutrition programs. Another way is to address social determinants of health, such as income inequality and poverty. Strengthening primary care services and the availability of specialists in rural areas is also important. Additionally, funding for research into preventable diseases and treatments can be increased. Effective public health policies should also be implemented to reduce risk factors, such as smoking, alcohol consumption, and poor diet. Through these steps, we can work towards improving the health of its citizens and bridging the gap with other G7 countries.


Are there any government initiatives to reduce health inequalities and improve life expectancy UK?

The UK government recognizes the importance of reducing health inequalities and improving longevity. One of the most significant initiatives that the government has taken is the NHS Long-Term Plan. It aims to increase access to primary care and prevention services, promote mental health, and improve hospital care quality. In addition, the government has promised to establish a new fund to reduce health inequalities between different communities in England.

The Department of Health and Social Care is also investing in social prescribing services to promote healthier choices and reduce preventable illnesses. Despite these initiatives, the UK's ranking falls behind other G7 countries' life expectancy. However, the government's commitment and efforts signify a positive direction towards improvement in the nation’s health and well-being, similar to the successful initiatives implemented in Finland.

Are there any actions individuals can take to increase their life expectancy UK?

Yes, individuals can take steps to increase their life expectancy UK. Adopting a healthy diet and way of living, including regular physical activity, can help maintain overall health. Using anti-aging supplements is also crucial, especially if one can't maintain a healthy diet. NMN Supplement UK could be a great choice to get more active. Berberine UK could help maintain healthier heart. It's crucial to focus on maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding unhealthy habits, such as smoking and drinking too much alcohol. Regular medical check-ups and screenings can help identify and treat health problems early on. Managing stress levels, getting plenty of sleep, and practising relaxation techniques can help reduce the risk of chronic diseases and improve overall well-being. Taking these steps can help increase longevity and promote a healthier and happier way of living. However, it is also important to address larger societal and systemic issues that may impact life expectancy UK, such as healthcare access and income inequality, particularly in countries like China.



The declining life expectancy UK has become a growing concern for its citizens and policymakers alike. While healthy life expectancy UK plays a significant role in determining longevity, social determinants like income, education, and employment opportunities also contribute to it. G7 nations, including Japan, Italy, and Canada, have better rankings in life expectancy than the UK. The COVID-19 pandemic has further accelerated the decline in the life expectancy UK ranking. Urgent action is needed to reduce health inequalities and improve longevity, and the government has launched several initiatives to achieve this, ranging from better healthcare to social policy reforms. However, individuals can also take several steps to improve their health, such as regular exercise, healthy diet and anti-ageing supplementation.

Frequently Asked Questions


How long do men live in the UK?

On average, in the United Kingdom male life expectancy is around 79 years. However, the life expectancy UK is lower compared to other G7 nations like Japan and Canada. The high rates of smoking and drinking are some of the primary factors contributing to lower life expectancy UK.

It's important to note that the gap in longevity between men and women is narrowing, with women now living longer than men on average in the UK.

How long do women live in the UK?

The life expectancy UK for women is around 83 years. While the leading causes of mortality differ for men and women, cancer, heart disease, and respiratory illnesses are among the top causes for both genders.

Compared to other G7 countries, the life expectancy UK is lower, largely due to socioeconomic factors such as income inequality and access to healthcare. However, efforts are being made to improve public health, including initiatives to reduce smoking rates and tackle obesity.


What is the difference between male and female life expectancy UK?

In England, women tend to have higher longevity than men, with a difference of approximately 5 years. There are several possible factors that contribute to this difference, including way of living choices, biological differences, and access to healthcare.

To improve overall life expectancy in the UK, public health England may seek to address these factors by promoting healthy behaviours and increasing access to healthcare for all individuals regardless of gender.

What are the highest and lowest life expectancy UK figures?

The highest life expectancy UK figure is 83 years for women in East Dorset, while the lowest is 74.6 years for men in the Glasgow City region. Factors such as income, education, and access to healthcare can impact longevity.

Which regions have higher or lower life expectancy than others?

Life expectancy UK varies by region with rural areas tending to have higher longevity than urban areas. In general, regions in the south of the country tend to have higher life expectancies than those in the north. Glasgow City, Manchester, and Blackpool are among the regions with the lowest life expectancies. Overall, Scotland has the lowest life expectancy UK, followed by Northern Ireland, parts of northern England and Wales.


Are there any other ways that people can improve their life expectancy UK rates?

Yes, regular exercise and a healthy diet are important factors in improving longevity rates, but access to healthcare is also crucial. Addressing social determinants of health, such as poverty and education, can also make a difference in improving life expectancy rates.

Local community programs and initiatives can play a crucial role in promoting a healthy way of living and access to resources, which can in turn lead to better health outcomes and longer life expectancy estimates. It is important to work together as a community to address these factors and improve overall health and well-being.

Why are people living longer than ever before?

People are living longer than ever before due to several factors, including advances in medical technology that have increased longevity, better sanitation and hygiene that have reduced infectious diseases, improvements in nutrition and food safety that have improved overall health, and reduced smoking rates and better access to healthcare that have also contributed to longevity. All of these factors combined have led to an overall improvement in the quality and length of life for people around the world.

Is there a link between smoking, obesity, and lower life expectancy UK?

Yes, there is certainly a link between smoking, obesity, and lower life expectancy UK. Smoking is a significant cause of premature death in the country, and obesity is linked to many chronic illnesses that can shorten lifetime.

How does one become healthier as one age?  What are some simple things that everyone can do to live a healthier lifestyle as they get older?

Regular exercise, even light-intensity activities, is crucial for improving overall health and longevity as we age. Additionally, maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet is essential in reducing the risk of diseases. Getting enough sleep is also crucial as it helps the body replenish and repair.

Limiting alcohol consumption and avoiding smoking can have a significant positive effect on overall health as we age.

Overall, making small behaviour changes, such as incorporating exercise into your daily routine, eating a balanced diet, getting enough sleep, reducing alcohol consumption and avoiding smoking, can have a significant impact on your overall health as you age.



  1. Chapter 1: life expectancy and healthy life expectancy
  2. Advancing our health: prevention in the 2020s – consultation document
  3. Updated estimates of coronavirus (COVID-19) related deaths by disability status, England: 24 January 2020 to 9 March 2022
  4. Gender inequality and the gender gap in life expectancy in the European Union 
  5. Ethnic differences in life expectancy and mortality from selected causes in England and Wales: 2011 to 2014
  6. Excess winter mortality in England and Wales: 2019 to 2020 (provisional) and 2018 to 2019 (final)

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