The projected lifespan of the average Derry woman has declined, according to new life expectancy figures.
Female life expectancy in Derry and Strabane decreased by 0.1 years from 81.4 years in 2012-14 to 81.3 years in 2016-18.
This compares with an average female life expectancy of 82.4 years across the North. The new Derry and Strabane figure is the lowest anywhere outside Belfast where women can expect to live to 81.1 years of age. It is 1.9 years lower than in Lisburn and Castlereagh where the figure is 83.2 years.
According to the Department of Health’s new ‘Life Expectancy in NI 2016-18’ report deaths from cancer, respiratory disease and nervous system disorders are the predominant contributors to the female life expectancy gap between districts.
The authors acknowledge: “Female life expectancy was significantly lower than the NI average in the Belfast and Derry City & Strabane LGDs.”
By contrast male life expectancy has increased by 0.8 years in Derry and Strabane, from 77.2 years in 2012-14 to 78 years in 2016-18.
Male life expectancy has increased across most areas but the rate of improvement in Derry and Strabane has been among the fastest.
Notwithstanding this male lifespans are still shorter here than anywhere else apart from in Belfast where the average man can expect to live to 76.3 years of age.
And Derry and Strabane men can expect to die 2.2 years earlier than their counterparts in Lisburn and Castlereagh and 0.7 years earlier than the average man from across the North.
Deaths from circulatory diseases, cancer and suicide are the predominant contributors to the male life expectancy gap between different council areas.