National Records of Scotland

Preserving the past, Recording the present, Informing the future

Main Points

Main Points

The key points in this report for 2003-05 are:

  • Life expectancy at birth for Scotland was 74.2 years for males and 79.2 years for females.  This varied considerably amongst areas in Scotland;
  • The Council area with the highest male life expectancy was East Dunbartonshire (77.7 years), 7.8 years more than Glasgow City, the lowest at 69.9 years;
  • Orkney Islands had the highest life expectancy for females (81.4 years), 4.7 years more than Glasgow City (lowest at 76.7 years);
  • The NHS Board with the lowest figure for both males and females was the Greater Glasgow area (71.9 and 77.8 years respectively).  The highest figures were for Orkney: males (76.3 years) and females (81.4 years).

Compared with 10 years ago in 1993-1995:

  • Life expectancy at birth for Scotland has improved from 71.9 years to 74.2 years for males and 77.5 years to 79.2 years for females;
  • The gap between males and females is closing, dropping from 5.6 years to 5.0 years over the period;
  • Although some areas had only very small increases in life expectancy over the 10 year period, there were no areas (Council and NHS Board area) that experienced a decrease;
  • The gap between highest and lowest Council areas for male and female life expectancy at birth is increasing.  For males, this has increased from 7.0 years in 1993-1995 to 7.8 years in 2003-2005 and for females from 4.3 years to 4.7 years over the same period;
  • The biggest rise in life expectancy for males was in the Shetland Isles (5.9%) and for females was in Argyll & Bute (3.5%);
  • The smallest rise was in West Dunbartonshire (0.1%) for males and East Ayrshire (0.9%) for females.