‘Life on the line’ – life expectancy gaps across Greater Manchester’s Metrolink network

A quick piece here on an excellent dataviz created by University of Manchester researchers. Dr Kingsley Purdam and his team mapped female and male life expectancy and IMD deciles across different areas of Greater Manchester to Metrolink tram stops.


The result demonstrates striking disparities over relatively short distances – for example between Rochdale Town Centre and less deprived Milnrow there is a life expectancy gap of 9 years for men and 8 years for women. This over a metrolink journey of just 10 minutes (according to google maps). It’s also interesting to see how the gap between male and female expectancy varies from place to place – as much as 9 years in Ashton Moss and Holt Town, but only 4 years in Manchester Airport and Prestwich – all areas in the most deprived decile.

This blog post by Dr Purdam contains an interesting and detailed write-up of the work, and draws attention to life expectancy statistics for Manchester:

Men and women aged 65 years in Manchester have the lowest life expectancy compared to other areas of the UK – men 15.9 years; women 18.8 years. This compares to 21.6 years for men in Kensington and Chelsea and 24.6 years for women in Camden. Healthy life expectancy (years of life in good health) can be as low as 54.4 years old for women in Manchester, compared to 72.2 years in Richmond upon Thames.

The research was also covered by Citymetric which noted the similarity to work on life expectancy by London tube stations carried out by James Cheshire and Oliver O’Brien. As well as life expectancy that piece of work also made use of the IMD’s companion dataset Income Deprivation Affecting Young Childen Index (IDACI).


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