DATA has revealed how long the average person is expected to live in different areas of Dorset.

The most recent figures (from the years 2017 - 2019) have been released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), which breakdown the average life expectancy rates for local authority areas across the country.

On a whole, the average life expectancy from birth for a man in the Dorset Council area is 81.3 years old while it is 85 years for females - a gap of 3.7 years. 

The average life expectancy has been gradually rising since 2001 for males and females in the area but the rate for men has both increased and decreased in the last five years. 

Meanwhile, the life expectancy for men at 65-years-old is a further 20.2 years while women will on average live another 22.5 years.  

A spokeswoman for ONS explained that the period life expectancy at a given age for an area is the average number of years a person would live if he or she experienced the particular area’s age-specific mortality rates for that time period throughout his or her life.

Bridport and Lyme Regis News: Average life expectancy rates from birth for Dorset. Source: ONSAverage life expectancy rates from birth for Dorset. Source: ONS

In comparison, the average life expectancy rates in the Bournemouth, Christchurch and Poole Council district is slightly lower for men and women, with 80.5 years and 83.7 years respectively. 

Data shows that Dorset residents have a higher average life expectancy rate than the broad South West figures. 

Men in the South West have an average life expectancy rate of 80.4 years while women have a higher rate of 84.1 years. Data shows it has grown by more than 0.5 years in recent years. 

What can boost life expectancy includes better access to healthcare, healthier lifestyles and diets, and regular exercise.

The lowest regional life expectancy for both males and females in 2017 to 2019 was observed in the North East; the North East's life expectancy at birth was also lower than in the countries of Wales and Northern Ireland but higher than in Scotland.

The largest local area increase in life expectancy between 2009 to 2011 and 2017 to 2019 for males at birth was in Westminster, while for females it was in Scotland's council area of Na h-Eileanan Siar.

The national average life expectancy at birth in the UK in 2017 to 2019 was 79.4 years for males and 83.1 years for females - slight improvements were observed from 2016 to 2018 of 6.3 weeks and 7.3 weeks for males and females respectively.

BELOW - Graph shows life expectancy at birth and age 65 by gender across local areas in the UK, between 2001 to 2003 and 2017 to 2019

Edward Morgan, Centre for Ageing and Demography, ONS, said: "The improvements in life expectancy at birth for males and females in the UK between 2016 to 2018 and 2017 to 2019, although lower than historical improvements prior to 2011, were the highest annual improvements for five years.

"The gap in annual improvements in life expectancy at birth between males and females has been narrowing since 2013 to 2015.

"In 2017 to 2019, female life expectancy improvements were seen to slightly exceed those for males for the first time since the start of the published data series in 1981 to 1983.

"However, it is too early to say whether this is a trend that will continue into the future.

"The impact of COVID-19 on period life expectancy will be shown in the National life table for 2018 to 2020 which will be published in Autumn 2021.

"The National life tables 2017 to 2019 were produced using data up to the end of December 2019, and therefore precede the COVID-19 pandemic."