Life expectancy in Greenwich borough near worst in London

A Greenwich Council report has revealed that life expectancy in the borough is one of the worst in London.

Figures for “healthy life expectancy” are even worse.

Male healthy life expectancy is 29th out of 33 in London. For women it is 31st out of 33.

The percentage of adults classified as overweight or obese is 27th worst.

There’s a whole number of reasons for this.

Given this site leans towards planning and urban design, I’ll look at that angle. And amongst those reasons must be some of London’s worst streets for walking and cycling. And an apparent reticence to do much about it.

Many times this site has covered how tens of millions of pounds has been received by Greenwich Council from new-build development and has not gone towards improving streets, public realm and parks to alter behaviour and push healthy living.

In just the past two weeks it’s happened again with £1.25 million from a proposed Abbey Wood development and the amounts to be spent from £4.9m obtained from a Charlton development is opaque.

An encouragement of out-of-town retail parks best accessed by car is another factor. Supporting a new road tunnel at Silvertown yet another.


There are some positives however though these are the only two measures out of 22 where Greenwich borough is in the top 10:

  • Emergency re-admissions within 30 days of discharge from hospital (%) – 7th best. Good work by social workers.
  • Overall satisfaction of carers with social services (%) – 5th best. Well done to the council in that field.

Whilst QE hospital in Woolwich is doing some good work against a rising population, it’s hampered by PFI payments. Even the hospital has poor pedestrian access forcing visitors and patients into the road upon approaching the main entrance:

Based on these numbers Greenwich borough has a problem, and incredibly life expectancy is falling for women compared to 2011-13. Possibly for the first time ever.

This will take action across a whole number of fields to rectify, and will take departments and organisations working together across the board. Will it happen, and will the new authority begin to prioritise spending from Section 106 funds to encourage healthy living to a far greater degree?


Running a site takes much time and cost a lot of money. Adverts are far from enough to cover it and my rent.

You can support me and the running this site in a number of ways including Paypal here

Another option is via Patreon by clicking here

You can also buy me a beer/coffee at Ko-fi here

There's also a Facebook page for the site here

Many thanks

J Smith

I've lived in south east London most of my life growing up in Greenwich borough and working in the area for many years. The site has contributors on occasion and we cover many different topics. Living and working in the area offers an insight into what is happening locally.

    11 thoughts on “Life expectancy in Greenwich borough near worst in London

    • With the closure of sports centres and “replacement” with smaller facilities such as the Plumstead Library vanity project, this will only get worse as children grow up obese. The Leader of the Council was gushing about how the facility will have more internet terminals open to late. Just what kids need, more encouragement to sit on their backsides in front of a screen. I believe the ongoing relationship with Better Leisure is a disaster for the young of this Borough, now it seems it amy well be for the adults too

      • I suspect in five or so years the cumulative effect of high volume housing, lack of affordable health facilities and the ongoing crush of public transport will lead to a marked increase in mental health problems.
        This coupled with rents, transport and living costs mean rush hour now begins at 6am in Greenwich as people get moving to pay their debts. The children of Greenwich may have a fighting chance of an education that can lead to work abroad. It’s the ones who are rooted here who will have the hardest time in the lean years to come.

        • 100% agree with you Charles about the consequences of high volume/density housing!
          We have only seen the tip of the iceberg of problems in the borough. Wait until all the high rise flats are completed and occupied……

    • This is ridiculous. People don’t die earlier because someone dared to build new housing or because the pavement is not conveniently placed enough.
      A poor job on improvement of public spaces that doesn’t give the excuse to make bad lifestyle choices.

      • High density buildings/homes, lack of open space etc does have an effect on stress levels, mental health etc.
        The seems to be more anti-social behaviour/crime too.

        All these high rise accommodations are not suitable for families with teenage children. The lack of space and gardens does have consequences….

        I also think it’s related to territory but I haven’t done much research on it.

        • There is mainly one thing that correlates well to poor health, and that is poverty. Greenwich has many deprived areas, they’re not even in the same areas as the new flats.

          These are not the people who have such middle class problems as having to share the tube with too many others.

          If anything, the so derided luxury flats will lift the average up, if the average is something that can considered of any value.

          • Luxury by its very definition is not available to the average person. Harminder K makes a very good point about the density of those blocks, the small living spaces and lack of decent outside space. There is no trickle down effect and Greenwich council is not interested in lifting up the less fortunate. It has a treasury bursting at the seams with s106 contributions, but has done nothing.

            Many families are living in homes too small for the number of inhabitants. The older children tend to roam the streets in big groups, often on bicycles, and stay out as long as they can before having to go home.

            • Thank you for explaining my point better than I actually did! 😀
              You also made the point about kids staying out on the streets late as possible because of the environment at home. Whenever you have a relatively high number of people in a small area, conflict is inevitable!

              Also with these high density blocks, there is very poor provision of parking for family/visitors!
              Yes, we should encourage people to use public transport where possible, but the reality is, when you have a family of 4 (for eg.) visiting from afar, using public transport is not practical, if not expensive.
              This in turn creates segregation/ghetto-like environment in the long term

              Greenwich Council are creating a major mess for the borough in the medium to long term!
              Also serious questions need to be asked about the s106 funds!!!!

            • You guys are conflating the discussion. Is this about not liking new developments or the low average life expectancy in Greenwich? Whatever points about s106 might all be true but you can’t blame people in new flats for other people problems.

              Those little kids on bicycles are aggressive knobs who seem to get enjoyment about harassing pregnant/old ladies or anyone really. They have not not been raised properly, and NO, it is NOT the government/budget cuts/council/owners of flats etc etc. that are to blame. Also if people are too shitfaced to eat healthily, start exercising and stop smoking, that’s THEIR responsibility. As I’ve said, with enough new flats the average life expectancy will start rising soon enough. Not that that will solve all these problems though, as I’ve said before also.

              Anyway, there are countless examples of communities around the world where people live with more in smaller confines where people live together in harmony and don’t blame all their issues on others.

    • Pingback: Greenwich borough streets see highest increase in collisions across all of London. – From The Murky Depths

    Leave a Reply

    Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

    This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.