Overall 51.4% of Devon’s population are female, a proportion that increases with age reaching 71.0% in those aged 90 and over.

Health, Care and Wellbeing Needs

Health outcomes are generally better for females than for males, with lower levels of ill-health and longer life expectancy. The following differences between males and females are taken from the Devon Health and Wellbeing Outcomes Report and the Devon Public Health Outcomes Report:

  • Males in Devon spend one year less in good health than females, which is much smaller than the 3.7 year gap in life expectancy.
  • Life expectancy gap – greater males (5.2 years) than females (3.3 years)
  • Males are much more likely to be killed or seriously injured on Devon roads than females
  • Hospital admissions for self-harm in 10 to 24 year olds three times higher in females than males and this gap has widened in recent years
  • Conversely, suicide rates are three times higher and more variable for men, and are lower and more stable for women
  • Female social care users in Devon more satisfied with their social situation than male social care users.
  • Dementia prevalence rates higher in females, which when combined with linger life expectancy means females with dementia out number males by more than two to one
  • Mortality rates from cancer 20% higher in males than females in England
  • In Devon, mortality rates from cardiovascular disease 2.5 times higher in males than females
  • Hospital admission rates in 0 to 14 year olds are much higher in males than females
  • Levels of excess weight higher in boys than girls in 4/5 and 10/11 year olds
  • Participation in physical activity higher in males than females
  • Smoking higher in males than females, although rates have been slower to fall in females, especially those living in areas with higher levels of deprivation
  • Alcohol admission rates higher for males than females
  • Mortality rates from preventable causes tend to be higher in males than females
  • Older single men are particularly at risk from social isolation
  • Single parent households, particularly where headed by a female, are more likely to experience economic poverty.

Domestic violence is more common in females, with 7.3% of women and 5.0% of men having been a victim of domestic abuse in the previous year and 31.0% of women and 17.8% of men at some point since the age of 16 (British Crime Survey).

Further Information