Drop in population
CONCERNS have been raised after it was revealed the number of people leaving the area to live elsewhere is the third highest in Scotland.
New figures from the General Registrar of Scotland show the population of West Dunbartonshire fell by 3.2 per cent in the last 10 years from 2001 to 2011.
The bulk of that - 2.2 per cent - accounts for the number of residents who have left the area and migrated elsewhere with the remainder made up of natural change.
The figures are the third highest in Scotland just behind East Dunbartonshire and Inverclyde.
It means the current updated population stands at 90,360.
The report also outlined the continued difference in life expectancy for Scots with West Dunbartonshire falling short of the national average for both men and women.
Data comparing life expectancy at birth in West Dunbartonshire and Scotland between 2008 and 2010 showed men in the area are expected to live until 73.6 compared with 75.8 for the rest of the country. Meanwhile, the area's females have a life expectancy rate of 78.3 years while the national average is 80.4.
Dumbarton and the Vale MSP Jackie Baillie, pictured, is concerned and has called for more action to reverse the problem. She said: "The report shows the extent of the challenge that continues to face Scotland in tackling the big causes of premature death. Cancer, heart disease and stroke are still killing more Scots than they should.
"Our commitment to improve early cancer screening and treatment is vital in ensuring that the chances of survival are maximised.
"The fact that cancer deaths are increasing is a huge area of concern and must be a key focus for the Scottish Government the next few years."
The figures in the report are based on the 2011 Census data.
It did show that life expectancy in West Dunbartonshire has improved from 1998 to 2000 compared with 2008 to 2010.
In that time the figure for men rose by four per cent while for women it climbed almost two per cent.
But Ms Baillie, Scottish Labour's shadow health secretary, is still shocked by the figures.
She said: "We have known for a long time that there is a direct link between poverty and early death.
"The fact that a Scottish man in the poorest parts of our country is expected to live for more than 13 years less than a Scot in the wealthiest part of Scotland is still shocking."
This article appeared in Dumbarton & Vale of Leven Reporter 07 Aug 12
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