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[this is a icon-] A slice from a data cube dataset

Healthy Life Expectancy: a data cube slice

Years of Healthy Life Expectancy (including confidence intervals) by age, sex, deprivation, and urban rural classification

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About the Dataset
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In dataset
Next update due
December 2019

Life expectancy (LE) is an estimate of how many years a person might be expected to live, whereas healthy life expectancy (HLE) is an estimate of how many years they might live in a 'healthy' state. HLE is a key summary measure of a population's health.

HLE is an estimate of how long the average person might be expected to live in a 'healthy' state. Like LE, it is most often expressed for an entire lifetime from the time of birth. HLE at birth is the number of years that a new-born baby would live in good health if they experienced the death rates and levels of general health of the local population at the time of their birth, throughout their life.

HLE is calculated by combining LE and a measure of 'healthy' health: in these HLE analyses for Scotland the measure used is self-assessed general health. This is self-reported by survey or Census respondents but has been shown to reflect both mental and physical health.

You can access further information about Life Expectancy and Healthy Life Expectancy statistics by visiting the relevant pages on the NRS website.

Confidentiality Policy

To ensure the confidentiality of personal information, the National records of Scotland protocol on confidentiality is followed

Quality Management

The healthy life expectancy estimates undergo quality assurance at each stage of production. More details on the quality of the deaths registration and population estimates data can be found in the relevant methodology on the NRS website. Details on the quality of the survey data in the Annual Population Survey can be found on the Office for National Statistics website.

Accuracy and Reliability

Healthy life expectancy estimates are produced using mid-year population estimates, death registrations and survey data on health from the annual population survey and the 2011 census

Coherence and Comparability

Coherence - Further information on the healthy life expectancy estimates can be found in methodology sections on the National Records of Scotland (NRS) website for life expectancy. Comparability - The statistics are designed to be consistent and comparable with the healthy life expectancy and life expectancy estimates produced accross the UK.

Accessibility and Clarity

It is the policy of NRS to make its website and products accessible according to published guidelines. More information is available in the Accessibility section of the NRS website.


Healthy life expectancy is a good measure of the health of a population and can be used to predict the demands on health services and social care. The Scottish Government uses HLE as a key indicator in the National Performance Framework.

Timeliness and Punctuality

Healthy life expectancy estimates are calculated for three year averages and published in December of the following year. For example, the 2016-2018 estimates will be published in December 2019. The exception to this was the 2015-2017 estimate which was published in february 2019. This was due to extra time needed to produce the first set of estimates using a new method.


Revisions and corrections to previously published statistics are dealt with in accordance with the Scottish Government Statistician Group corporate policy statement on revisions and corrections - a copy of which is available on the Scottish Government website.


This slice of multidimensional data is not a Linked Data resource in the database: it's a virtual resource (i.e. you can't query it by SPARQL). But does have a permanent unique URL which can be bookmarked.