Health inequality widest in older middle-aged

2011Census-logoNew analysis from the Office for National Statistics focuses on the extent of inequality in health and disability between more and less disadvantaged populations in England using Census 2011 and area deprivation data. 

The distribution of health and disabling health conditions across the population of England is shown to follow a sizeable, persistent and incremental pattern; health outcomes generally worsen in line with greater levels of socio-economic disadvantage.

Key points

  • Men and Women (aged 40 to 44) living in the most deprived areas are around four times more likely to have ‘Not Good’ health compared to their equivalent in the least deprived areas.
  • Inequalities in health remain large, even at older ages; in the least deprived areas people aged 80 to 84 reported better rates of health than those 20 years their junior in the most deprived areas.
  • The inequality in health between the most and least deprived areas peaks at ages 55 to 59 for women and 60 to 64 for men.
  • Future fitness to enjoy retirement is likely to be more favourable for the least deprived population than the most deprived; at ages 60 to 64 disabling health problems are much less common among the least deprived.
  • The disability prevalence divide between the most and least deprived areas is large across the working ages of 30 to 64, where adults are expected to participate in the labour market.
  • The fact that both men and women in the least deprived areas aged 65 to 69 have similar percentages disabled as those aged 40 to 44 in the most deprived areas suggests fitness to extend working careers post the traditional state pension age for men (65) is more likely among the least deprived area residents.

The full report can be opened here.

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