Seaside town where life expectancy is below national average

Concerned residents of a famous seaside town have spoken up about why they think life expectancy in the area is so low.

Scarborough, in Yorkshire, sits well below the national average for longevity.

According to Scarborough local radio, This is the Coast, life expectancy for men is just 75 – below the national average of 81.

Women in the town tend to fare better with their life expectancy at 82, slightly below the national average of 83.

Now those living in the town have voiced their thoughts on why this could be, warning that many could be battling mental health issues.


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Yorkshire Live spoke to two women from Scarborough to understand more.

Tara, 37, who has lived in Scarborough all her life, told them: “I notice lots of the mental health situations in Scarborough – there was a recent reported suicide at the Grand Hotel, there needs to be more out there for mental health there doesn’t seem to be much there at all so people suffer badly.

“I struggle with it myself, people battle with it every day and we get no help because there is nowhere to get any.

“I just shut myself away then go off the rails when it gets so bad. People don’t open up because there isn’t enough out there to be able to open up.”

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Daryl, another woman from Scarborough, also believed that the low expectancy rate is linked to a lack of health services in the coastal town.

“I believe if you’re happy in life then you will do better in life and I think that there isn’t that much for people to do in Scarborough – there is nothing here – for people to be able to have a good life,” the 26-year-old told Yorkshire Live.

“I think lots of people suffer with mental health issues and the lack of things here impacts that massively, there also isn’t enough help for people suffering with mental health issues.

“I ended up in hospital after an attempted suicide a few years again, but got dispatched at 3am and told there was nothing wrong with me.

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“They were basically saying I’m fine and there is nothing wrong with me.

“It’s really difficult round here to get any help and people have lost their lives because of the lack of help.

“There aren’t a lot of doctors and dentists to get help either when you are unwell or have any health issues.”

She added: “Although they are getting better in terms of healthier places to eat in Scarborough – it is mainly takeaways and unhealthy stuff at the moment which affects people’s health.”

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), life expectancy at birth in the UK in 2018 to 2020 was 79 years for men and 82.9 years for women.

Statistician Pamela Cobb, from the ONS, commented: “Life expectancy has increased in the UK over the last 40 years, albeit at a slower pace in the last decade.

“However, the coronavirus pandemic led to a greater number of deaths than normal in 2020.

“Consequently, in the latest estimates, we see virtually no improvement in life expectancy for females compared to 2015 to 2017 at 82.9 years, while for males life expectancy has fallen back to levels reported for 2012 to 2014, at 79 years.

“This is the first time we have seen a decline when comparing non-overlapping time periods since the series began in the early 1980s.”

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