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State of the Region 2020 Full Report

3. Good Health and Wellbeing

Ensure healthy lives and promote well being for all at all ages

In 2018, the infant mortality rate for the WMCA was 6.7 per 1,000 live births which is above the national average of 3.9. Each of the seven metropolitan authorities is worse than the England average, but Birmingham shows particularly poor results with 7.4 per 1,000 live births. It is worth noting that the number of infant deaths has decreased from 786 in 2017 down to 779 in 2018, however per 1,000 live births the rate has increased from 6.6 per 1,000.

The healthy life expectancy is lower for males in the West Midlands 7 Met. area than the national average at 59.6 years compared to 63.1 years in 2018, this leading to a gap of 3.5 years. Compared to 2017, the healthy life expectancy has decreased by 0.3 years while the national average remained the same. Similar patterns can be seen in the healthy life expectancy of females in the West Midlands 7 Met. where it is estimated to be 59.8 years with the national average of 63.6 years leading to a gap of 3.8 years. Compared to 2017, the healthy life expectancy for females in the West Midlands 7 Met. area decreased by 0.3 years with the national average remaining the same. 

In May 2018/19, 29.5% (978,700) of adults were inactive which increased by 0.1pp (+9,200 people) since May 2017/18. Nationally there was an average of 24.8% of adults classed as inactive, this is a decrease of 0.4pp. To reach the national average of physical inactive adults, the WMCA requires 156,456 people to become more active.

Exploratory analyses into Covid-19 and health inequalities Research Case Study

Background: We know that Covid-19 is likely to exasperate existing health inequalities, both through the direct impacts of the virus, and the indirect impacts of the control measures imposed. The PHE Population Intelligence Hub is carrying out some exploratory analyses to understand local authority area characteristics which are disproportionately impacted by Covid-19. 

Aims: The aim of the research is to identify key areas of focus in mitigating the impact of Covid-19 on health inequalities in the region, including over the longer term. The piece will support the WMCA in the relationship between health & wealth and places inclusive growth within its broader context of an inclusive economy. The piece aims to explore three key overlapping areas of impact on local authorities, these are mortality, economy and social wellbeing. 

Process: The themes will be divided into three stands for exploration but are not independent of each other. The Population Intelligence Hub is collaborating with WMCA Office for Data Analytics and Research to produce analyses and findings for the economic impacts strand. Area characteristics which will be explored for their association with economic outcomes include area demographics, deprivation, economic activity, jobs across sectors, vulnerable population (including health needs and other needs) and rurality.