The granting of power to health and social care agencies in Greater Manchester offers the chance to make a significant improvement to the life expectancy of the population of the conurbation. One of the aims of DevoManc is “To close the health inequalities gap within GM and between GM and the rest of the UK faster”.

Life expectancy at birth is a summary measure of the health status of a population. Comparing life expectancies across districts indicates the extent of health inequalities. Across English local authorities there is a difference of 8.7 years in the life expectancy of men and 6.4 years in the life expectancy of women. For many years Manchester has had the dubious distinction among local authorities of having the lowest male and female life expectancy at birth.
Tables 1 and 2 highlight the trend in life expectancy in Greater Manchester. Among the ten districts only Stockport and Trafford have a life expectancy for males and females higher than the England figure for 2011-13 of 83.1 years for women and 79.4 for men.
For more than 20 years Manchester has had the lowest female life expectancy among the Greater Manchester districts. Women in Trafford in 2011-13 had a life expectancy of 83.5 years, the highest in Greater Manchester. There was, in 2011-13, a 3.5 year gap between the life expectancies of Manchester and Trafford.
Manchester has also had, for more than 20 years, the lowest male life expectancy in Greater Manchester. Men in Trafford in 2011-13 had a life expectancy of 79.9 years, the highest in the conurbation. The life expectancy gap during 2011-13 between Manchester and Stockport was 4.4 years.
Table 1

Female life expectancy at birth (years)

Area 1991-1993 2001-2003 2005-2007 2011-2013
England 79.1 80.7 81.8 83.1
Trafford 78.5 80.6 82.1 83.5
Stockport 78.9 81.0 82.0 83.0
Bolton 77.3 79.2 79.6 81.6
Bury 78.4 79.9 80.5 81.2
Oldham 77.0 78.6 79.1 81.2
Rochdale 76.9 78.8 79.5 81.0
Wigan 77.4 78.6 79.6 80.9
Salford 76.5 77.9 79.0 80.4
Tameside 77.9 79.0 79.5 80.3
Manchester 76.4 77.8 78.7 80.0

Table 2

Male life expectancy at birth (years)

Area 1991-1993 2001-2003 2005-2007 2011-2013
England 73.6 76.1 77.5 79.4
Trafford 73.9 76.6 77.8 79.9
Stockport 73.5 76.1 77.5 79.7
Bury 73.0 75.5 76.5 78.2
Wigan 72.4 74.4 75.5 77.7
Bolton 72.1 74.3 75.3 77.6
Oldham 71.2 73.7 75.2 77.6
Rochdale 71.4 73.8 75.1 77.2
Tameside 72.2 73.6 75.3 76.9
Salford 70.8 73.2 74.6 76.6
Manchester 69.6 71.8 73.2 75.5

Source: Office for National Statistics

A report by James Bennett and colleagues, published recently in The Lancet, forecasts that life expectancy across England and Wales will continue to increase. The research team forecasts that by 2030 female life expectancy in England and Wales will be 87.6 for women and 85.7 for men. Table 3 lists the forecast life expectancies for Greater Manchester districts.
Life expectancy for men is forecast to increase over the next 15 years at a faster rate than that for women. The difference in the life expectancy of Stockport compared to Manchester is forecast to narrow slightly. Since the devolution of power is designed to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of health and social care, these forecasts can be the basis of ambitious targets for DevoManc.
The research suggests that if present trends continue, female life expectancy in Manchester will, in 2020, be 82.4 years. Why not make a DevoManc life expectancy target for Manchester of 83 years by 2020, and 85 years by 2025?
The forecast for male life expectancy in 2020 in Manchester is 78.3 years. An ambitious but achievable target for Manchester would be 79 years by 2020 and 81 years by 2025. For both men and women DevoManc should aim, by 2030, to equalise life expectancy across the Greater Manchester districts.
Forecast life expectancy (years)

Females
District 2015 2020 2025 2030
Trafford 84.8 86.2 87.5 88.7
Stockport 84.4 85.8 87.0 88.1
Bolton 82.6 83.9 85.1 86.1
Oldham 82.2 83.5 84.8 86.0
Bury 82.5 83.7 84.8 85.8
Wigan 82.0 83.3 84.5 85.5
Rochdale 82.1 83.3 84.4 85.4
Salford 81.7 83.0 84.2 85.3
Tameside 81.7 83.0 84.2 85.2
Manchester 81.0 82.4 83.6 84.7
Gap 3.8 3.8 3.9 4.0
Males
District 2015 2020 2025 2030
Stockport 81.1 82.8 84.6 86.3
Trafford 81.0 82.7 84.6 86.3
Bury 79.4 81.1 82.9 84.6
Bolton 78.8 80.6 82.4 84.3
Wigan 78.9 80.6 82.4 84.1
Rochdale 78.3 80.1 81.9 83.6
Oldham 78.2 79.9 81.7 83.4
Tameside 78.1 79.8 81.5 83.3
Salford 77.6 79.4 81.3 83.2
Manchester 76.4 78.3 80.1 81.9
Gap 4.7 4.5 4.5 4.4

Source: Life expectancy in England and Wales http://uklex.azurewebsites.net/

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