Stark inequalities in children’s development and overall life expectancy between local authorities are revealed by new data published by the Marmot Review.
It shows that 44% of all five-year-olds in England are considered by their teachers to be falling behind in their development. This assessment is based on levels of behaviour and understanding.
The figures were released to mark the first anniversary of the Marmot Review: Fair Society, Healthy Lives.
The original review was commissioned by the previous government to look at health inequalities in England.
Sir Michael Marmot, public health specialist and author of Fair Society, Healthy Lives, said: “Health inequalities are a tragic waste of life and health and cost this country tens of billions of pounds every year in lost productivity, welfare payments and costs to the NHS from ill health.”
He said the coalition government was “working in the right direction” by transferring the responsibility of preventing ill health to local authorities.
He added: “We need to ensure that local authorities invest money and expertise to ensure long-term reductions in health inequalities.”
The data covers the local authorities that will take on this responsibility.
Charts show there is an 11-year gap in life expectancy for men and 10 years for women between the poorest and most affluent areas.
Kensington and Chelsea in London has the highest life expectancy, at 84.4 years for men and 89 for women, while Blackpool has the lowest life expectancy for men (73.7 years) and Manchester has it for women (79.1 years).
The gap in life expectancy is more than nine years for men in about half the local authorities in England, and is six for women.
Within individual areas for men, Westminster has the widest gap of just under 17 years between the most and the least affluent districts.
For women, the gap is widest in Halton and Newcastle upon Tyne at just over 11 years, the data shows.
The smallest gap for men is in Wokingham in Berkshire, at just under three years, and for women it is in Telford and Wrekin, Shropshire, at just under two years.