Life expectancy in England ‘ground to a halt’ – The King's Fund responds to Office for National Statistics (ONS) figures

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Commenting on the ONS mortality data for 2018, Dr Veena Raleigh, Senior Fellow at The King's Fund, said:

‘Today’s figures show that in 2018 life expectancy gains in England ground to a halt.

‘Life expectancy gains have been flatlining since 2011. Although a slowdown has been seen across Europe, England has been particularly badly affected.

‘Last year’s cold weather and bad flu outbreak appear to have taken a heavy toll, alongside other ongoing factors such as a continued slowdown in improvements in mortality from heart disease and rising numbers of deaths from drug misuse among young adults. At the same time, inequalities have been widening between the most affluent and the most deprived.

‘After eight years of stalling life expectancy, ignorance can no longer be an excuse for inaction – urgent measures must be taken to reverse this worrying trend.’

Notes to editors

For more information please contact Andrew McCracken, Head of Press and Public Affairs at The King’s Fund on 020 7307 2585 or 07774 907 960 or email at

The King's Fund is an independent charity working to improve health and care in England. We help to shape policy and practice through research and analysis; develop individuals, teams and organisations; promote understanding of the health and social care system; and bring people together to learn, share knowledge and debate. Our vision is that the best possible health and care is available to all.