The world around us shapes our health and how long we live – from quality homes that are warm and safe, to stable jobs, clean air, neighbourhoods with green space, and social connections. But access to these building blocks of good health varies across the UK, and right now, things like poverty and poor living conditions are damaging health and wellbeing and cutting lives short.
Health Equals is drawing on data released publicly by the Office of National Statistics. For England, the data covers the years 2015–2019. For Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, the data covers the 2017–2019 period. The data has been analysed by the Health Foundation.
This interactive data tool provides life expectancies related to postcode district level – this is estimated as an average of the life expectancies in the relevant Middle Layer Super Output Areas (MSOAs)/ local authorities which lie within a postcode district.
To account for outliers at the most extreme ends of the range, we’re taking the average of the 10 postcode districts with the highest life expectancy, and the 10 areas with the lowest life expectancy to calculate the gap between the highest and lowest life expectancy districts.
Health Equals chose to show a calculated aggregate of male and female life expectancy, calculated as the simple average across the male and female values in each area. This was done in order to tell a clearer story on overall life expectancy in particular areas.
We are collecting the number of users searching for different postcode districts. This data is anonymised, and we may share this with MPs or local leaders in those postcode areas as it may be of interest to them.
Our campaign intends to highlight the health inequalities that people in the UK face from the moment they are born, and who through no fault of their own, could be at risk of poor health because of where they live. But a baby’s life is not predetermined, and if we take the right steps we can change their future prospects for the better.
Our health and wellbeing is not only shaped by where we’re born, but also by protected characteristics (such as our race, sex, age, or if we have a disability), and if we’re part of a marginalised or socially excluded group. We’ve chosen to highlight the impact of where we live on our health, as it shows that inequalities exist, and that things can be better if we make sure that action is taken to prioritise the building blocks of health and wellbeing.
Health Equals is a group of 29 organisations from across different sectors, brought together by their commitment to ensure that everyone in the UK has more equal access to the building blocks of good health and wellbeing. We’re shaping a society where each of us has our best chance of good health, no matter who we are or where we’re born, work and live.
Health Equals is made possible by the Health Foundation, one of our founding members and an independent charity funded by an endowment. The Heath Equals team are employed directly by the Foundation and are responsible for the day-to-day running of the initiative, working closely with members in development and delivery.