People living in different parts of England are facing a postcode lottery when it comes to the age they should expect to be struck down with a disability or long-term illness, new figures suggest.
Data from the Office for National Statistics shows people living in some parts of the country can expect to enjoy an extra 16 years of life without such conditions than those in other regions.
The figures show life expectancy for males born in Wirral between 2009 and 2011 is 77 years, but the average “healthy life expectancy” (HLE) is only 60.
Female life expectancy is almost 82 years, with an HLE of 62 years.
Statistics show people born in the south of England have a much higher healthy life expectancy compared with those in the north.
The average healthy life expectancy at birth in England was 63 years for males and 64 years for females The highest HLE was in Richmond upon Thames for males at 70 years, and Wokingham for females at 71 years.
The lowest was in Tower Hamlets for males at 52.5 years, and Manchester for females at 55.5 years.
Hammersmith and Fulham had the largest gender difference in HLE, with females expected to live 5.2 years longer in “good” general health than males.
The latest ONS report also highlights the regions where people can expect to live for the least and longest time without a disability or limiting persistent illness.
Boys born in Richmond upon Thames can expect to live until they are 69.9 without disability – for those born in Liverpool disability-free years will end at 56 - 13.5 years earlier than those born in the London borough.
The new ONS report states: "There was considerable variation between the DFLE of different regions.
"There was a clear north-south divide, with the southern regions having higher DFLE."