…the beginning of the end for rising life expectancy? A paper published in August by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) casts new light on life expectancies in the UK. Life expectancy has been increasing in the UK for a long time, as the graph shows. In 1980, the average life expectancy at birth was 70.6 years for a man and 76.6 years for a woman. Whereas only 36 years later in 2016 this had increased to 79.2 years for a man and 82.9 years for a woman.