National Records of Scotland

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Scots spending more lifetime in poor health

Scots spending more lifetime in poor health

Thursday, 3 Feb 2022
demography news release image

Figures published today by NRS show the number of years people in Scotland can expect to live in good health has fallen again.

Between 2018 and 2020, average male Healthy Life Expectancy was 60.9 years while it was 61.8 years for females. Healthy life expectancy has decreased each of the last four years for females and for the last three years for males.

The report, Healthy Life Expectancy 2018 – 2020, also shows that those living in the most deprived communities spend on average 24 years fewer in good health than those living in the least deprived areas. With those in the most deprived areas also dying younger, they spend more than one third of their lives in poor health.

Statistician Maria Kaye-Bardgett said:

“These figures continue a trend we have seen in recent years with healthy life expectancy falling for males and females. Healthy Life Expectancy is a key measure of health and wellbeing in Scotland. These figures are useful for those planning services to meet people’s needs.”

Orkney was the area with the highest healthy life expectancy for both males and females (71.2 years and 77.5 years). The areas with the lowest number of years spent in good health were Inverclyde for males (54.4 years) and North Ayrshire for females (54.0 years).


You can find the report Healthy Life Expectancy 2018-2020 on our website. 

The Healthy Life Expectancy Figures are calculated for all ages which is why we don’t say men/women.

The National Records of Scotland (NRS) is responsible for producing statistics on Scotland’s population.

Official statistics are produced by professionally independent statistical staff. General information about population statistics can be accessed in the About our Statistics section of the NRS website.

Media enquiries should be directed to:
Susie Rose at [email protected]  or Tel: 07500 463 452

Further information about the statistics is available from:
Statistics Customer Services                                
Tel: 0131 314 4299
 E-mail: [email protected]