London: Adults who reach the age of 65 will live longer than ever before, according to statistics from the Office for National Statistics.
Men who pass the milestone should live to 81, while women should reach the age of 85.
But although women still live longer the gender gap is closing. Men who reach 65 can expect to live for another 16.6 years while women at the same age can hope for a further 19.4 years.
The gap is just 2.8 years. But in the mid-1980s, men of 65 could expect another 13.2 years while women expected at least 17.2. Life expectancy at birth throughout Britain is also rising. Men will on average live to almost 77 and women to 81. In 1983 life expectancy at birth for men was only 71 and for women 77.
The figures also highlight a geographical gap, with the top ten areas for life expectancy for newborn children all in England, and half of these in the south east.
In Glasgow, men on average die before they are 70 while the life expectancy for women is also the lowest, at just under 77.
In contrast, the London borough of Kensington and Chelsea has the highest life expectancy. Men there live on average to 82 and women to
The statistics also reveal the number of years men and women can expect to live healthily before disability begins to affect them. The men of Hart in Hampshire enjoy 68.8 years, compared with Easington in Durham at 50.5 years.
For women, those living in Elmbridge in Surrey enjoy 70.5 years com-86. 19.4 years. pared with those in Merthyr Tydfil, Wales, who had just 54.1 years.
There was a clear North-South divide in the time people could expect to live without a disability.
Highest expectations are in the East, South-East, and South-West of England and the lowest in the North-East, the North-West and Wales.
The disability figures may be skewed, however, because they are based on replies to the notoriously inaccurate 2001 national census.
This asked if people suffered from a long-term disability and may have encouraged false replies from those without a disability who are nevertheless claiming state benefits.
The statistics show Kensington and Chelsea is the area where both men and women can expect to live longest. Top ten areas for men also included Wokingham, Brentwood and Horsham.
The top ten areas for women included Rutland, Guildford and the New Forest.
Worst areas for men included Glasgow, Manchester and Blackpool, while Liverpool and Hartlepool were among those for women.