Life Expectancy

Although life expectancy within Birmingham has increased since 2001, this improvement has plateaued since 2010.

The average life expectancy in Birmingham is 77.1 years for males and 81.9 years for females (2013/2015). This is lower than the national average life expectancy which is 79.5 years for males and 83.1 years for females.  However life expectancy varies greatly for males and females depending where in the city you live. 


Healthy Life Expectancy

This is a measure of the average number of years a person would expect to live in good health based on contemporary mortality rates and prevalence of self-reported good health. Healthy life expectancy is significantly lower in Birmingham at 58.4 years for men and 59.4 years for women compared to 63.4 and 64.1 years respectively for England. 


Years of Life Lost

Another way to measure premature mortality is the number of years of life (YLL) lost due to people dying before the age of 75.  Using this indicator it is possible to identify the major health conditions that contribute to the gap in this measure of life expectancy and the England average.

The biggest single contributor to excess YLL in Birmingham is infant mortality.  However, there are believed to be issues locally with the way infant deaths are recorded that may be overestimating this relative to the rest of the country.

The other major causes of excess years of life lost are shown below. 


5 major causes of early death for adults


Birmingham Deaths 2013/15

Years of Life Lost

Percentage Excess Years Life Lost 2013/2015

Coronary Heart Disease (CHD)




Lung Cancer




Alcoholic Liver Disease (ALD)




Other Heart Diseases




Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)





Causes of the Causes

All of these causes of premature mortality have major modifiable risk factors:

Risk Factor


Birmingham attributable number of deaths 2013-2015


Linked to CHD, lung cancer and COPD.  One in two lifelong smokers die from their addiction.  Single biggest avoidable cause of cancer in the world. 14% of adults in Birmingham are smokers.

Over 4,000 deaths linked to smoking


Men and women drinking high-risk levels of alcohol increased 13x risk of Alcoholic Liver Disease.

Over 1,400 alcohol related deaths

Air Quality

Links to CVD, COPD, asthma.  Children, pregnant women, older adults and those with pre-existing conditions are most vulnerable to adverse effects.

Almost 900 deaths per year linked to air pollution


Risk Factor


Physical Inactivity

Physical inactivity and a sedentary lifestyle are strongly associated with poor cardiovascular health. More than a third of adults in Birmingham are physically inactive


Linked to Type 2 diabetes, CHD, some cancers and risk of stroke. One in four of 10-11 year olds in Birmingham are obese.


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PDF document of JSNA Strategic Overview Chapter on Life Expectancy (August 2017)

Excel spreadsheet of Birmingham Life Expectancy 2013-15 by District

Excel spreadsheet of Birmingham Life Expectancy 2013-15 by Ward

Adobe pdf of Life ExpectancyTrain Maps 2013-15 for Persons, Males and Females


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