Page last updated: Wed, 18 May 2016 08:39:15 GMT

The Segment Tool 2015 - Segmenting life expectancy gaps by cause of death

The Segment tool was updated on 18th May 2016. This page contains historical data. Please see for the latest version

The Segment Tool has been developed by the Public Health England (PHE) Knowledge and Intelligence Teams (London and East Midlands) and provides information on the causes of death that are driving inequalities in life expectancy at local area level. Targeting the causes of death which contribute most to the life expectancy gap should have the biggest impact on reducing inequalities.

The tool uses data for 2010-12 and allows users to view the breakdown of the life expectancy gap both within local authority areas, and between a local authority and England as a whole.

The tool is provided in an easy to use Excel workbook, which can be downloaded below. The tool uses macros, and you should make sure that these are enabled before starting to use the tool.

Several changes have been made to the tool since the initial version in January 2014. These include:

  • Inclusion of lower tier local authorities in addition to upper tier local authorities
  • Addition of data on the contribution of alcohol related mortality to inequalities in life expectancy
  • Addition of a more detailed cause of death breakdown

As with the previous version, the tool examines life expectancy gaps between each local authority as a whole and England as a whole, and between the most and least deprived quintile within each local authority. The updated tool also includes new charts showing life years gained or lost for selected causes of death. These are available for all areas, including those whose life expectancy is higher than the comparator area.

Since changes have been made to the methodology, scarf charts in this version of the Segment Tool should not be compared to scarf charts in the previous version. However, the older version is still available to view here:

If you need help with using the tool or have any questions, a user guide provides information on how to use the tool, interpret the charts and tables and answers to a set of frequently asked questions. A technical document provides more detailed information on the data sources and methodology used to create the charts.

We would welcome feedback on this publication of the tool, to inform future development. Comments and questions can be sent to

The segment tool and guidance documents

The segment tool summary reports

Summary reports for each local authority showing the charts and tables are available below. Please use the dropdown boxes to select the report for your area.