Suffolk: Life expectancy differs by 20 years depending where you live in county

PEOPLE living in certain parts of Suffolk can expect to live nearly 20 years longer than those in other areas of the county, it has been revealed.

According to the latest figures, people in Suffolk can expect to live to an average age of 79.98 years old.

The figure has increased in recent years but there are still differences between the sexes and between certain areas – especially in those places that are less well-off.

Last night health bosses said they were working hard to address the discrepancies.

Those living in the Blything district – which includes the Halesworth, Southwold and Leiston areas – can expect to live the longest, with an average life span of 86.89 years.

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The lowest life expectancy in the county is in Kirkley, Lowestoft, where people reach an average of 73.96 years.

Women tend to fare better than men – reaching an average age of 81.96 compared to 77.92. In Rougham and Blything, they have an average life expectancy of just over 90 years.

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However in Hoxne, females live to an average of just 72.11 years of age – a difference of nearly 20 years.

Men live the longest in Melton and Ufford, with an average age of 83.55 years, but Kirkley has the lowest life expectancy of 70.78 years.

Last night health bosses said they were aware of the differences and were working hard to improve life expectancy for all.

David Kanka, NHS Suffolk’s deputy director of public health, said: “Suffolk is a healthy county and a pleasant place to live. Over the last decade life expectancy overall has continued to increase.

“However, there are still major differences in life expectancies – particularly between those living in the most deprived areas and the rest – which we are committed to address.

“Stopping smoking, eating well, drinking less and taking more exercise are just a few ways that people can improve their health and live longer.”

The figures were compiled by the Suffolk Observatory, using data from between 2003 and 2007 from the Office for National Statistics.

Kathy Gosling, Suffolk county councillor with responsibility for well-being, said: “Suffolk is a lovely place to live and a place that people aspire to. We can be very proud of that. There are areas of outstanding natural beauty, lots of resorts with fantastic beaches and great parks.

“We are very lucky to live in such a unique county. We have a breadth of diversity that gives everyone an opportunity to enhance their well-being.”

She also echoed the comments of her colleague in the health service, saying they were all working hard to address the discrepancies within the county and improve life expectancy.

The Suffolk Observatory is a partnership between Choose Suffolk, Suffolk County Council, district and borough councils, NHS Suffolk and Suffolk Constabulary.

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