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Life Expectancy for Administrative Areas within Scotland, 2007-2009

4. Further information

4.1 Life expectancy at birth

4.1.1 The Office for National Statistics (ONS) produces national life tables for the UK and constituent countries, which provide estimates of period life expectancy. Responsibility for the production of national life expectancy figures transferred to ONS from the Government Actuary’s Department (GAD) on 31 January 2006.

4.1.2 Every ten years a set of graduated (smoothed) life tables for Scotland is published. They are available for the years 1930-1932 to 2000-2002 (excluding 1940-1942) from the ONS website:

and from the General Register Office for Scotland (GROS) website:

4.1.3 In addition, ungraduated interim life tables are produced annually for Scotland based on data for a period of three consecutive calendar years. They are also available on the ONS website:

4.1.4 Because of the differences between complete (single year of age) and abridged (grouped years) life tables, the abridged Scotland level figures presented in this report may differ slightly from the national interim figures published by ONS, which are complete. A detailed description of the standard methods and notation associated with the calculation of life expectancy by ONS (and previous to this - GAD) can be found on the GAD website:

4.1.5 Period life expectancies are worked out using the age-specific mortality rates for a given period (either a single year, or aggregated years) which make no allowance for any later actual or projected changes in future mortality. Cohort life expectancies are worked out using age-specific mortality rates which allow for known or projected changes in mortality in later years. Period and cohort life expectancies based on projected mortality rates from the 2008-based national population projections can be accessed from the ONS website at:

4.1.6 ONS will publish Scotland-level ungraduated interim life tables for 2007-2009 on 30 September 2010. Provisional figures for 2007-2009 are available in the Life Expectancy pages of the GROS website, within the ‘Life Expectancy at Scotland Level’ section:

4.2 Life expectancy for Scottish Administrative Areas

4.2.1 Previous GROS publications dedicated to life expectancy are available from the GROS website now including life expectancy figures for special areas (Urban/Rural, Deprivation and Community Health Partnership) within Scotland:

4.2.2 A further breakdown of Council area life expectancy has recently been added to the GROS website, which splits each Council by deprivation and may be of particular use in monitoring inequalities within a Council area.

4.2.3 Life expectancy tables with 95% confidence intervals for Scottish Council and NHS Board areas from 1991-1993 to 2006-2008 are available on the National Statistics website at the following link:

This webpage also contains life expectancy tables for local and health authorities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Figures for 2007-2009 will be published on 19 October 2010. Earlier life expectancy tables for Scottish Council and NHS Board areas, back to 1981-1983 are available on the GROS website in the form of abridged life tables at the following link:

4.2.4 A report which details the research undertaken by ONS to compare methodologies for calculating of life expectancy figures and confidence intervals can also be found on the National Statistics website:

4.2.5 Life expectancy figures used for international comparisons are taken from the Eurostat website:

4.3 Healthy Life Expectancy

4.3.1 Healthy Life Expectancy (HLE) is defined as the number of years people can expect to live in good health. The difference between life expectancy and HLE indicates the length of time people can expect to spend in poor health. Information on HLE in Scotland was first published in March 2004 by the Information Services Division (ISD) of the NHS in Scotland. In June 2008, ISD published HLE estimates by NHS Board and community health partnership area, as part of the Scottish Health and Wellbeing Profiles. These data and further information on HLE are available on the Scottish Public Health Observatory (ScotPHO) website at:

4.4 Other data available from the General Register Office for Scotland

4.4.1 Estimates of the resident population of Scotland are prepared by GROS each year. These are available by sex and single year of age for Council and NHS Board areas, together with historical data. Information is also available on a wide range of related topics such as small area population estimates, population projections, migration estimates and data from the 2001 and earlier Censuses. For further information please contact:

Statistics Customer Services
General Register Office for Scotland,
Ladywell House,
EH12 7TF.

Telephone: 0131 314 4299
Fax: 0131 314 4696

or visit our website at:

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