Life Expectancy for Scotland 2014-16

Latest life expectancy statistics for Scotland were published today by National Records of Scotland as part of the National Life Tables, using estimates of the population and the number of deaths.

Tim Ellis, the Registrar General of Scotland, said:

“The statistics published today show life expectancy has steadily improved over the past 3 decades, increasing by 8.0 years for males and 5.9 years for females, and the gap between male and female life expectancy has also decreased. Most recently (2014-16), a baby girl born in Scotland could expect to live for 81.2 years and a baby boy could expect to live until he was 77.1 years. Whilst it is good news that people in Scotland are living longer, recent trends show the increase in life expectancy has been slowing in Scotland as well as the rest of the UK.”

Life expectancy at birth

  • Life expectancy for those born in 2014-2016 was 77.1 years for males and 81.2 years for females.
  • Over the past 35 years life expectancy in Scotland has increased by 8.0 years for males and 5.9 years for females.
  • Female life expectancy has remained higher than male life expectancy throughout the last 35 years. However, the gap between them has decreased from 6.2 years for people born in 1980-1982 to 4.1 years for people born in 2014-2016
  • The 2014-based population projections for Scotland project that life expectancy will continue to increase, reaching 82.3 years for males and 85.0 years for females by 2039.

Recent changes in life expectancy         

  • Between 2013-2015 and 2014-2016 life expectancy remained virtually unchanged. Life expectancy at birth increased by 0.01 years for females and decreased by 0.02 years for males.
  • There was also very little change between the 2012-2014 and 2013-2015 life expectancy estimates, indicating that life expectancy is stalling in Scotland.

Scotland’s life expectancy compared to the rest of the UK

  • Life expectancy at birth in Scotland is 2.1 years lower than the UK figure for males (79.2 years) and 1.7 years lower than the UK figure for females (82.9).



  1. Today’s publication summarises the latest National Life Tables for Scotland published by NRS. The life tables cover a 3-year rolling period, 2014-2016, and can be used to estimate the average number of years a person would live if he or she experienced the age-specific mortality rates of the given area and time period for the rest of their life. The full publication can be accessed from the Life Expectancy section of the NRS website.
  2. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) have published life expectancy statistics for the UK as a whole and each constituent country. The National Life Tables for Scotland are produced by ONS on behalf of NRS, and the Scottish estimates are fully comparable with the rest of the UK. The ONS publication be accessed from the Life Expectancy section of the ONS website.


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