Women in London live longer - but rising life expectancies highlight welfare spending problem

Women living in London have one of the highest life expectancies in the country, according to the latest data from the Office for National Statistics (release).

Females aged 65 in 2009-11 are expected to live for a further 21.6 years, the same as in the South East and South West and over seven months more than the national average. Males of this age are expected to live a further 18.3 years on a national scale – up nearly a year from 2005/07.

For men and women born in 2009/11, the life expectancy across England and Wales is a respective 78.8 and 82.8, rising to 79.3 and 83.6 in London and 80.0 and 83.8 in the South East (the longest-lived region).

The North West, by comparison, is the worst place to live for those seeking a longer life, with men and women projected to live to a respective 77.4 and 81.5.

The rise in life expectancies across the country, while welcome news for the implication of improving healthcare and quality of life, will nevertheless put further pressure on government to deal with the rising welfare budget. The Office for Budget responsibility has estimated that government spending in the UK could hit 40.6 per cent of GDP by 2062/63 under current plans and demographic trends.

In this morning's City A.M., Legal & General chief executive Nigel Wilson outlined his thoughts on helping pensioners to become more financially independent.

And here's Allister Heath's initial reaction to the OBR report.