UK’s company directors likeliest to reach 65

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Men working as company directors and lawyers in south-east England are the least likely to die before they reach the state pension age, according to official figures published on Thursday.

Males working as cleaners and labourers in north-east England, by contrast, had the highest death rate for men aged between 25 and 65, the data showed.

The mortality rate for men working in routine occupations in north-east England was almost four times the death rate for men in higher managerial and professional occupations in the south-east, according to the Office for National Statistics.

Its study of male mortality rates between the ages of 25 and 65 found that men were more likely to die before they received a state pension in the north of England and Wales, irrespective of their jobs. “The greatest inequalities were in the north of England and in Wales, where men in routine occupations had a death rate more than three times that of men in higher managerial and professional occupations in the same region,” said the ONS.

“By contrast, death rates for men in the eastern and southern regions of England showed the least inequality, with a death rate for men in routine occupations just over twice that of those in higher managerial and professional occupations.” The mortality rate among men in routine occupations, such as labourers, bar staff and van drivers was 699 deaths per 100,000 in north-east England, in 2001-03, the highest rate of any region, it said.

Men in higher managerial and professional occupations – such as directors, doctors and architects – in south-east England, excluding London, in contrast “had the lowest death rate of all socio-economic groups and regions, at 179 per 100,000”.

According to the ONS, people from poorer socio-economic groups were much more likely than those in higher ones to die from respiratory diseases, lung cancer and digestive diseases, including liver diseases.

● Separate figures published by the ONS showed that people in England were likely to live longer without any “limiting chronic illness or disability” than those in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Disability-free life expectancy for men was 63 years in England, compared with 62 years in Scotland and 60 years in Northern Ireland and Wales, it said.

For women, DFLE was 64 years in England, about 63 years in Wales and Scotland, and 61 years in Northern Ireland.

The ONS said the increases in DFLE were generally greater than rises in life expectancy, which meant that the proportion of life spent disability-free has grown.

This contrasted with the trend between 1981 and 1999, when life expectancy was increasing more rapidly than DFLE at birth for both men and women.

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