Residents living in some parts of Leeds are expected to live over a DECADE less than those living just a few miles away.
Life expectancy data, revealed today by the Yorkshire Evening Post, has laid bare marked differences in the life spans of residents across the city – despite living just a few miles apart.
Charity bosses say the figures highlight the “significant” gap between rich and poor in Leeds and that inequality in the city remains a “huge challenge”. A Leeds City Council spokeswoman said they recognise health services in deprived areas of the city need improving and that work is under way to tackle the issue.
Recently-released life expectancy data for the city shows those living in the area of Burmantofts and Richmond Hill have the shortest predicted life span of anyone across Leeds - living an average of 75.5 years.
Yet just eight miles away in the plush neighbourhood of Harewood, residents are living to an average of 86 years.
Charity bosses say the stark contrast highlights the “significant level of inequality in Leeds” which they say remains a “huge challenge” in the city.
Eleven of the city’s 33 wards have life expectancies of less than 80 years, according to the data released by Leeds City Council, including City and Hunslet, Middleton Park, Hyde Park and Armley.
Using five-year averages, the most recent figures - which cover 2011-2015 - show a marked difference between certain areas of the city.
With Harewood topping the table, Adel and Wharfedale came in just behind with an average life expectancy of 85.5.
The overall life expectancy for Leeds as a city was 80.9 - up slightly from five years previously, of 80, in 2006-2010. Analysis of the figures by bosses at Leeds City Council has shown the average life expectancy for ‘deprived’ areas of the city is 76.8 - compared to 81.9 in ‘not deprived’ areas.
These figures are an improvement from those of 2006-2010, which were 75.7 and 81, respectively.
Dave Paterson, project co-ordinator at Unity in Poverty Action (UPA) and chairman of the Leeds Food Aid Network (FAN) said: “The 10 to 11 year difference in life expectancy reiterates the significant level of inequality there is in the city of Leeds.
“It sometimes feels like we are existing in two separate worlds.”
He said the city offers significant job opportunities for educated people in the skilled sector, who “often gravitate towards the wealthier parts of north Leeds, or the outer south, east and west of the city”.
“The other world sees people on low pay, in insecure work and struggling to cope in an every-changing benefits system, often stuck on estates that can be found across significant parts of south and east Leeds as well as inner city west and pockets of the north.”
He told the YEP of a volunteer at a food bank this weekend being asked by a health professional how they could refer nurses who were struggling to feed themselves and their families.
“There seems to be little doubt that poverty remains a huge challenge for our city and with it the gap between rich and poor remains high, as this data regarding life expectancy demonstrates,” he added.