Scotland's Health and Demographic Profile
This paper provides an overview of Scotland's health and demographic profile, drawing on evidence about life expectancy, healthy life expectancy, the burden of disease and multimorbidity, as well as population projections. It is part of an initial collection of contextual evidence papers, setting out key sources of information about social care and related areas in Scotland, linking to the National Care Service Consultation proposals published in August 2021.
- Scotland's population has the lowest life expectancy and widest socio-economic inequalities in health in Western Europe. In 2018-20, life expectancy at birth in Scotland was 76.8 years for males and 81.0 years for females. The gap in life expectancy between the most and least deprived Scottish Index of Multiple Deprivation (SIMD) deciles was 13.5 years for males and 10.2 years for females.
- The estimated healthy life expectancy of a child born in Scotland in 2018-20 was 60.9 (± 0.5) years for males and 61.8 (± 0.5) years for females. While socio-economic inequalities in life expectancy are stark, socio-economic inequalities in healthy life expectancy are even wider. The estimated gap in healthy life expectancy between males and females across the most and least deprived deciles in 2018-20 was 24.4 and 24.2 years, respectively.
- While predicting future demand for social care is extremely challenging, National Records of Scotland project that Scotland's population is expected to age across the coming decades, with a substantial increase in the proportion of the population over the age of 65 years. The trend towards an increasing number of single adult households is also set to continue.
- A recent study found that 93% of people aged over 65 who received social care had two or more medical conditions simultaneously (multimorbidity).
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