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The Aftershock of Deindustrialisation

Date: April 2008
Category: Report
Author: David Walsh, Martin Taulbut, Phil Hanlon

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This report highlights the findings of a study aimed at identifying the trends in mortality in Scotland and other parts of post-industrialised Europe.

Post-industrial decline (and its many associated factors) is frequently cited as one of the major underlying reasons behind the poor health profile of Scotland and, especially, the West of Scotland. It is instructive to know, therefore, how other post-industrial areas in Europe have fared in respect of recent health trends.

This research, as a first stage of an ongoing process to gain a better understanding of Scotland’s (and particularly the West of Scotland’s) continuing poor health status relative to other comparable areas, identified a total of 20 regions in the UK and mainland Europe which had suffered similar levels of deindustrialisation in the latter half of the 20th century.

Detailed mortality and population data were obtained for each region to allow meaningful comparisons of mortality based trends (life expectancy, and age, sex, and cause specific death rates) over the last 20-25 years. These data are presented alongside brief and simple descriptions of each area in terms of their industrial history,  socioeconomic profile, and current health status in relation to their parent countries.