Posted by: euzoia | May 29, 2010

Village dwellers likely to live longer than city slickers, report finds

 | Mail Online

Perhaps it’s the fresh air, or the wide open spaces in which to exercise.

Whatever it is, living in a village appears to be good for you.

According to an official report villagers are likely to live more than two years longer than town dwellers.
Crowds of shoppers on Oxford Street London England UK
Couple sitting on a seat on the Isle of Portland

City versus country: People who choose the hectic streets of London, left, over the village life in Dorset may have a shorter life expectancy, research has found

And if you are poor and living in the countryside, you can still expect a longer life than benefit-dependent city folk, according to the Government-backed research project.

The findings support long-standing evidence that those with the highest life expectancy are residents in more prosperous rural areas.

For years districts in Dorset have been regularly listed as the places where citizens reach the oldest ages, and last year the town of Wimborne Minster was put at the top of the country’s long life league tables.

The study from the Office for National Statistics said fresh air and healthy lifestyles contributed to the advantages of the countryside.

But it also noted that many richer Britons retire to the country and many villages are gentrified.

However, even the poorer areas in the country – which tend to be more sparsely-populated districts – give a better chance of survival than the most deprived parts of towns.

And life in the country is also likely to last longer than in the suburbs or settlements on the edge of towns and cities, the report said.

Overall, men who live in the country are likely to live for between 78 and 79 years, while men in towns can expect to survive to an age of 76.
Enlarge pugh.jpg

Women on average survive to their 81st birthday in towns, but live to between 82 and 83 in the country.

Life is longest in villages rather than in isolated areas, and villages in southern England and London commuter country have the longest life expectancy of all, the report said.

‘The availability of clean air, green space and the opportunity for healthy exercise is widely considered to have significant health advantages,’ it added.

‘Rural areas also experience less deprivation and there is increasing evidence of gentrification, where better-off people migrate to the countryside and displace those who are less affluent.’

The report added that ‘deprivation in rural areas had seemingly less effect on the rural life expectancy figures’ compared with poverty in the towns.

The poorest and least healthy parts of Britain are found, according to statistics, in cities in Scotland and the north of England, with Glasgow regularly showing up as the least-healthy city.

Millions of Britons have been pouring out of towns and into the countryside to take advantage of what they believe is a better lifestyle in recent years.

Around 2.4million have moved to more rural surroundings, with many middle- class Britons fleeing from central London and other towns and cities.

According to one survey this year by a farm insurance group, seven out of ten country dwellers are not from settled rural families but have either migrated from towns or returned to the country after spending their careers working in cities.

Growing numbers of rural residents are now also retirees from the city or second home owners who have gradually shifted to spending most of their time in the country.

The effect on wealth in the countryside has been set out in separate ONS figures.

They showed household spending last year was higher in the country than in cities, with those in rural areas paying on average £505.40 a week for their homes, goods and services.

This compared with £446.70 average spending for town dwellers. Those in the countryside spent more in the main on holidays, recreation, culture, sport and transport.


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