Life expectancy in Scotland

A National Statistics publication for Scotland.

Life expectancy for those born in Scotland in 2016-2018 was 77.0 years for males and 81.1 years for females, according to statistics published today by National Records of Scotland.

The figures show there has been virtually no change in life expectancy in Scotland since the 2012-2014 estimates.

Life expectancy at birth

• life expectancy for those born in 2016-2018 was 77.0 years for males and 81.1 years for females
• between 2015-2017 and 2016-2018 life expectancy has changed by less than 0.1 years for both males and females
• there was also almost no change between the 2012-2014 and 2016-2018 life expectancy estimates, indicating that life expectancy has stalled in Scotland.
• female life expectancy has remained higher than male life expectancy throughout the last 35 years - however, the gap has decreased from 6.2 years for people born in 1980-1982 to 4.1 years for people born in 2016-2018
• since 1980-1982, life expectancy in Scotland has increased by 7.9 years for males and 5.8 years for females
• the 2016-based population projections for Scotland project that life expectancy will increase in the future, reaching 81.7 years for males and 84.5 years for females by 2041


Notes To Editors

1. The National Records of Scotland (NRS) is a non-ministerial department of the devolved Scottish Administration. It is responsible for producing statistics on Scotland’s population.

2. Today’s publication summarises the latest National Life Tables for Scotland published by NRS. The life tables cover a 3-year rolling period, 2016-2018, 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.

3. The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has 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.

4. Information about the methodology for estimating life expectancy can be found in the Methodology Guide on the NRS website.

5. Life expectancy statistics for areas within Scotland will be published in December 2019.

6. The UK Statistics Authority (UKSA) has designated this publication as National Statistics, in line with the Statistics and Registration Service Act 2007 and signifying compliance with the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.


Media enquiries should be directed to:

Donna Green
NRS Communications
Tel: 0131 535 1307


Further information about the statistics is available from:

NRS Customer Services
Tel: 0131 314 4299


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