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North has lower life expectancy

People in the north of England are more likely to die at a younger age than those in the south, official figures confirm.

Between 2007 and 2009 residents in Manchester had the lowest life expectancy in the UK, it was revealed.

Women in the area had a 69% chance of living to their mid-70s, but men were less fortunate with just a 54% chance.

In contrast, those with the best hope of reaching old age could be found in South Buckinghamshire, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows.

Men in the area have a 78% chance of celebrating their 75th birthday, while women in Waverley in Surrey have an 86% chance.

Life expectancy has risen across England and Wales as a whole since 2003-05, when men had a 65% chance and women a 77% chance of living to 75. By 2007-09 these figures had risen to 68% and 79% respectively.

Regional variations narrowed but remained significant, with men and women in the north east and north west facing a lower probability of survival than those in the south west, south east and east of England.

Public health minister, Anne Milton, said: "Reducing health inequalities is a government priority. This means improving access to and outcomes from healthcare in disadvantaged groups as well as addressing the wider social causes of ill health and early death."

Copyright Press Association 2011