New data has revealed the towns and cities with the lowest life expectancy in the UK,  and it’s not good news for men in Blackburn with Darwen.

The latest figures, published by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), suggest males born in Blackburn with Darwen in 2020 to 2022 have the lowest life expectancy in East Lancashire and the fourth lowest in the UK.

A spokesperson for Blackburn with Darwen Council said a “decade of government austerity policies” have “inevitably damaged” the wellbeing of residents. 

For a baby boy born in Blackburn with Darwen in 2020 to 2022, the average life expectancy is 75.15 years.

This statistic is beaten only by Kingston upon Hull (75.4), Manchester (74.8) and Blackpool (73.41), which has the lowest life expectancy in the country.

This figure has decreased slightly compared to 2019 to 2021’s figures (75.46).

This is the lowest the life expectancy has been since figures for 2007 to 2009, when the average life expectancy was 74.82, despite advances in medicine and science.

Females born in 2020 to 2022 in Blackburn with Darwen have a higher life expectancy than men, of 80.04, but this too is a slight decrease on 2019 to 2021 figures (80.26).

Blackburn with Darwen females have the 13th lowest life expectancy in Britain.

Blaenau Gwent, just south of the Brecon Beacons, has the lowest life expectancy for women, at 78.88, followed by Blackpool at 78.98, meaning the seaside Lancashire town has the lowest overall life expectancy of any place in Britain.

Councillor Damian Talbot, executive member for public health, prevention and wellbeing at Blackburn with Darwen Council, said: “Our borough is seeing the consequence of more than a decade of government austerity policies, which have inevitably damaged the wellbeing of our residents. 

“Even before the Covid 19 pandemic hit, health statistics were being impacted by cuts to public spending and cuts to the income of our residents. 

“Blackburn with Darwen saw amongst the greatest impact of COVID in terms of the numbers of cases and it is likely that many residents will have been affected by conditions such as long COVID. 

“The huge NHS waiting list pressures that built up during the pandemic have not been cleared – meaning residents are waiting longer to get essential treatment. 

"This situation is compounded by genuine hardship and suffering as the cost of living crisis has taken its toll. 

“Our Household Support Fund is receiving over 150 new applications for emergency support every week.

"The council works hard to support the health of residents but faces immense external pressures due to insufficient resource being provided to our Borough.  

“Locally we have delivered over 3,000 NHS Health Checks this year (above the national average) and continue to promote enhanced health checks and blood pressure checks, working with the NHS on screening programme uptake, offering drugs and alcohol services and we provide a smoking cessation service to offer to help our residents live well.

“Prevention and early detection is a key joint priority for the Council and partners and we are committed in ensuring health equity of access for our residents by working closely with our community, voluntary and faith sectors to improve the health and wellbeing outcomes.”

Life expectancy for babies born in East Lancashire, from 2020 to 2022


Elsewhere in East Lancashire, Burnley also ranks low on life expectancy, 12th lowest for women (79.94) and seventh lowest for men (75.5).

In Hyndburn for men the expectancy is 76.31 and for women is 80.22, while in Pendle for women it is 81.04, and 77.63.

In Rossendale, for men it is 77.11 and for women is 81.2, and in the Ribble Valley life expectancy for women is 84.11 and for men is 81.03, a lot closer to the top end of the scale.

Average life expectancy at birth in the UK in 2020 to 2022 was 78.6 years for males and 82.6 years for females, which is also a drop of around nine months compared with previous years.

Affluent areas in southern England dominate the latest list for the highest life expectancy at birth, making up the entire top 10 for both males and females, while no areas in the south appear in the top 10 for the lowest life expectancy.

Most local areas have also seen a fall in estimated life expectancy at birth, with the reduction driven by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic.

There was a gap of more than a decade between the local areas with the highest and lowest male life expectancy, and more than seven years between the top and bottom areas for female life expectancy.

Julie Stanborough, ONS deputy director of health and life events, said: “Although life expectancy has fallen across all regions and constituent countries, there is a clear geographical divide when it comes to areas with the best and worst outcomes.

“None of the 10 local areas with the highest life expectancy were located in the north of England, Wales or Northern Ireland.

“By contrast, of the 10 local areas with the lowest life expectancy, none were in the south of England.”

The decrease in life expectancy during 2020 to 2022 has been “predominantly driven by the coronavirus pandemic”, which led to “increased mortality in 2020 and 2021”, she added.