A FALL in life expectancy has been driven by the Covid-19 virus, recently released data has revealed.

According to statistics published by National Records of Scotland (NRS), figures for 2018-2020 show life expectancy at birth in Scotland fell in the latest year, with the average life expectancy at birth for males being 76.8 years and 81.0 years for females.

The figures represent a decrease of around 17.6 weeks for males and 6.1 weeks for females since last year’s estimates, the biggest annual decrease since the series of life expectancy estimates began in 1980-1982.

However, life expectancy at birth for both females and males in the Wee County still remains higher than the national average.

Julie Ramsay, head of vital events statistics at NRS, said: “It is clear that the high number of excess deaths in 2020 has led to the fall in life expectancy.

“Our analysis shows that Covid-19 deaths accounted for the vast majority of the fall in life expectancy for both males and females, with drug-related deaths also having a negative impact on life expectancy for males.

”This measure of life expectancy provides an important summary of the health of the population and helps to show how this is changing over time.

“Increases in life expectancy point to a healthier population whilst reductions point to a decline in population health.

“Covid-19 has clearly driven a significant increase in deaths and this life expectancy measure will provide important evidence as to whether the impact of the pandemic is a one-off shock or whether it will have a sustained impact on mortality.”

Across Scotland, female life expectancy at birth was highest in East Renfrewshire (84.0 years) and lowest in Glasgow City (78.3 years) whilst male life expectancy at birth was highest in Shetland Islands (80.6 years) and lowest in Glasgow City (73.1 years).

Female life expectancy at birth in Clacks was 81.5 years and 77.2 years for men.

Both these figures are higher than the Scottish average (81.0 years for women and 76.8 years for men).

Visit tinyurl.com/2ap9y2dv to view the full NRS report.