A snapshot of the health, wealth and social differences between the countries of the UK has been published for the first time. Scots have the lowest life expectancy but the highest rates of exercise; Wales has the biggest proportion of disabled people, while women in Northern Ireland have the most babies and England has the fewest NHS beds per head of the population.

The Office for National Statistics report shows the north-south divide still exists for many indicators. Living in Scotland takes almost three years off male life expectancy. A boy born in England today can expect to live to 76.6 years, while his peer in Scotland will only reach 73 years and eight months - the lowest in the UK.

But 42 per cent of Scottish men do 30 minutes of exercise at least five days a week, compared with a third of their southern counterparts. More than 10 per cent of people in England are in the top social class, compared with 6.7 per cent in Northern Ireland.