The Statistical Digest of Rural England (December 2019) shows that rural areas continue to enjoy the highest average life expectancy and best health in older age.
As of December 2019, on average, people born in mainly rural areas in 2015-17 are expected to live two years longer than people born in more urban areas: for rural males, life expectancy stood at 80.7 years and for females 84.1 years.
In terms of potential years of life lost (PYLL), the lowest rates in England are found in mainly rural areas, at 369 years of life lost per 10,000 population – some 107 years lower than that of urban areas/10,000 population. Infant mortality is also lower in rural areas than in urban areas.
The statistical digest also looks at employment: at December 2019, in rural areas there were 23,215 small- to medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) active in health, education or social work, providing work for 287,880 people.