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UK life expectancy has stopped rising—and austerity could be to blame

The 110 years of steadily improving life expectancy in the UK are now officially over. The reasons why are a tragedy on an enormous scale

By Dorling and Gietel-Basten  

Signs are held up as a Sack the Tories Budget Day protest is underway across from Downing Street in London on November 21, 2017, during which demonstrators rallied against austerity policies on the eve of a new national budget being announced

Buried deep in a note towards the end of a recent bulletin published by the British government’s statistical agency was a startling revelation. On average, people in the UK are now projected to live shorter lives than previously thought.

In their projections, published in October 2017, statisticians at the Office for National Statistics (ONS) estimated that by 2041, life expectancy for women would be 86.2 years and 83.4 years for men. In both cases, that’s almost a whole year…

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