Life expectancy is a postcode lottery in Wolverhampton, claims report

Wolverhampton | News | Published:

They are just four miles apart - but a boy born in Wightwick can expect to live eight years longer than one born in Low Hill.

A new report by Wolverhampton Council's director of public health Ros Jervis revealed stark differences in life expectancy depending on which part of the city one is born.

Mrs Jervis also revealed that the gap between those living in the most and least affluent communities has grown by almost a third since the last study was carried out.

Mrs Jervis's report, which was presented to members of the council's health and wellbeing board yesterday afternoon, revealed that a male baby born in Tettenhall Wightwick ward between 2008 and 2012 - the latest figures which are available - can expect to live to 81 years and six months, whereas a boy born in Bushbury South and Low Hill has a live expectancy of 73 years and six months.

The differential - eight years - has grown from six years four months when the last survey was carried out, using data from 2007 to 2009.

Female life expectancy has shows significant differences across the city, although the figures are better across the board and the differences less pronounced.

A girl born in Tettenhall Wightwick can expect to live past the age of 85, while a female child born in either Blakenhall or Bushbury South and Low Hill will live, on average to just 79 years and eight months.

"In Wolverhampton, as in England as a whole, life expectancy continues to increase, thanks to improved social conditions, advancing medical and scientific knowledge, a highly trained professional workforce and continued investment in a free and universal health care system," said Mrs Jervis.

"However, even with these advancements, life expectancy in Wolverhampton is below the national average and masks a widening gap between the health outcomes of our wealthiest and most deprived communities."


Tettenhall Wightwick was found to be the 'healthiest' ward for both men and women. Of the others, male life expectancy was longest in Penn (80.1 years) and Tettenhall North (81.2), and female life expectancy longest in Merry Hill (84.4) and Bushbury North (84.4).

The wards with the worst life expectancy rates for males are Bushbury South and Low Hill (73.5), Ettingshall (74.2) and Bilston East (74.8), while for females they are Bushbury South and Low Hill (79.7), Blakenhall (79.7), Bilston East (80.1), Park ward (80.2) and East Park (80.4).

The biggest differential between the sexes was in Bushbury North ward, where men can expect to live to 75.7 years, and women 84 years and three months.

Mrs Jervis recommended that further research should be carried out into the causes of health inequalities in the city, with a further report being presented ot the board at a later date.

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