Money may not be able to buy you happiness, but recent findings have shown that it may be able to buy you a longer life. Club Vita, an organisation that studies human longevity, found that people who live in the affluent London areas of Chelsea and Kensington, where weekly average income is in the highest bracket of all the UK, generally live six years above the average national age, reaching heights of 86 years.
In contrast the lowest life expectancy in the UK is found in Glasgow, where people can expect to pop their clogs at the age of 74. Some of the UK's poorest people live in Glasgow with a household income of just £434 per week, making it one of the country’s lowest.
Chief executive at Club Vita, Nick Flint, said: “The link between high wealth and increased life expectancy has been suspected but our analysis highlights the true extent of the longevity gap between the haves and have-nots in society. Across the UK we've seen life expectancy increasing more slowly at the lower end over the past 15 years and this trend looks set to continue.”
However some places were found to have differing results, a number of boroughs in London came with high levels of income but comparatively low life expectancy. In fact, areas in London such as Islington had a lower life expectancy compared to other areas in the UK that had the same level of income. These anomalies could be attributed to the increased hustle and bustle associated with London life. South West London generally has a number of well paid residents yet the life expectancy was not as high as in Chelsea. Worryingly though, for people who take long journeys to reach their place of work, the report found that areas known for housing commuters went hand in hand with a lower life expectancy.
Areas with high levels of commuters such as Brighton, Watford, Maidenhead and Windsor were all found to have a lower life expectancy by a few years despite having a similar level of income to people who lived longer in other places. It is thought that the stress of a daily commute is what leads to the shorter life span “In all these commuter towns, life expectancy falls short of the level that you would expect people to have, it’s possible the pace of London life is starting to move outside the M25” said Andrew Gaches, a consultant at the organisation.
The findings are bad news for people who live on lower incomes. With the national retirement age set to rise these people will find that they will spend more time working and end up with less time to enjoy their retirement.