UK death rates at lowest ever levels, ONS says

Image caption Women continue to live longer despite improving mortality rates for men

Death rates in the UK have fallen to their lowest ever levels, according to official figures.

The Office for National Statistics said the UK mortality rates for males and females have fallen from 1,261 and 768 deaths per 100,000 population in 1980, to 655 and 467 in 2010.

That means mortality rates for males and females have declined by 48% and 39% respectively between 1980 and 2010.

Male mortality rates have been higher than females for all of the 30 years.

However, as rates for males have fallen at a faster rate, the gap between male and female mortality has decreased.

Mortality rates also vary around the UK.

In 2010, Scotland had the highest mortality rates for both males and females - 785 and 552 deaths per 100,000 population respectively.

The lowest rates for males and females - with the deaths per 100,000 population standing at 638 and 456 respectively - was in England.

Northern Ireland has experienced the largest declines in mortality for both males (51%) and females (43%) since 1980.

In contrast, males and females in Scotland have shown the smallest declines in mortality rates over the last 30 years - 44% and 35% respectively.

The ONS said UK mortality rates have generally fallen due to medical advances in the treatment of various illnesses and diseases.

In recent years circulatory diseases have seen the greatest fall as a cause of death.

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites