How marriage, kids and where you live affect your life expectancy

Here at Reassured, we are passionate about family life insurance, and as a result, we wanted to learn more about the life expectancy for different groups of people in the UK, especially following such a turbulent year.

We extensively analysed recent data from the ONS[1] to determine how factors such as gender, location, marital status, and even having children can affect the average life expectancy of UK residents, with interesting results.

The data helps us to answer a multitude of questions. For example;

  • Do women live longer than men?
  • Do married people live longer than single people?
  • Do those without children live longer than those with?
  • Where in the UK do people live the longest

Below is what we found from our research…

Women live longer than men, though marriage appears to suit men better

Statistics show that women live almost three years longer than men on average, with recent data showing that women currently live an average of 87.2 years, compared to 84.3 years for men.

Interestingly, marriage closes the gap between the two and appears to suit men better than women.

When they are married, the average life expectancy for a man increases to 85.4 years (+1.1 year).

While the life expectancy for women when married sees a drop of a full year to an average of 86.2 years.


How does being a parent affect life expectancy?

Parenthood is well-known to be hard work and very tiring at times, but our research suggests that parents should actually be thanking their children.

The reason for this is that interestingly, the figures suggest that having children can lead to a higher life expectancy.

Whilst men in the UK who are fathers have a life expectancy of 85.7 years, men without a child have an average life expectancy of 82.9 years, almost three years less than those who are parents.

Parent v2

It is a similar story for women, with mothers having an average life expectancy of 88.3 years, and women without a child having an average life expectancy of 86 years.

Time spent in ‘Good health’ can differ hugely depending on location

The old adage of ‘location, location, location’ appears to be true, as the data suggests that citizens in the UK are experiencing wildly different proportions of time in ‘good health’, depending on where they are from.

Those in the Orkney Islands spend the highest percentage of their life in ‘good health’, with men spending 87.7% of their life in good health on average, and women spending 91.2% of their life in good health.

Contrast that with the worst-performing area, Blackpool, and we see that the differences are stark.

Orkney islands

Men in Blackpool spend just 72.2% of their life in good health on average, while women from Blackpool spend as little as 69.5% of their life in good health.

Those in the South East have highest overall life expectancy

When we take a broader look at the different areas of the UK, it again becomes apparent that there are sizeable differences in life expectancy depending on location.

Those in the South East of England have the highest life expectancy, at an average of 87 years. Women in the South East have an impressive life expectancy of 88.3 years.

On the other end of the scale, Scottish people have the lowest life expectancy, at an average of 83.9 years. Scottish men have an average life expectancy of just 82.3 years.

South East England

Stay prepared with life insurance

Though life expectancy is far from an exact science, it is important to be as prepared as possible for all eventualities.

Life insurance provides an affordable financial safety blanket to protect loved ones if we are no loved around to provide.

The funds from a life insurance pay out are often used to cover the mortgage, meet family living costs, clear debt, cover household bills and pay rising funeral expenses.

Life cover can dramatically lessen the financial burden on your family, at an already difficult time.

It can be surprisingly easy to set up a life insurance policy, and our specialist team are here to help you secure suitable and affordable protection.

Steve Marshall, CEO at Reassured added:

Steve Marshall, Reassured Non-Executive Director / Founder

Following what has been a year of much turbulence and uncertainty, many of us are likely to have spent at least some time re-evaluating what is truly important, whether it be our partner, the children, the grandchildren, or the family home.

Life is often described as being short. But it’s fascinating to see how many elements of our everyday lives can impact these numbers, which is why we believe it’s so essential to cherish the moments we have with our loved ones, and to also ensure we have the necessary financial protection in place.

This is why we are so passionate about life insurance and the peace of mind it can help provide.

Methodology & sources:

We analysed the most recent life expectancy data from the ONS for men and women¹ which covered the period 2017-2019. We looked at what percentage of people were married, unmarried, had children, didn’t have children etc

We then found authoritative, published studies about married life expectancy and childless life expectancy to determine how many ‘years’ this was believed to add/remove on average and how this varied by gender

We then worked out what the married life expectancy and childless life expectancy ‘years’ equated to as a percentage of the average life (for men and women) and divided this against the percentage of people this status applied to create a more accurate formula that we could apply to national data, and data each local area

Please note, the data displayed in this article is correct at the point of publication 20/05/21

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