More than one million extra people have died “early” in the North of England than the South in the last 50 years, research shows.

An investigation of death records has revealed that people in the North are 20% more likely to die under the age of 75, with researchers describing their study as a “tale of two Englands”.

The study, led by the University of Manchester, found there were 1.2 million more premature deaths in the North from 1965 to 2015 – and 14,333 more in 2015 alone.

Their figures also reveal there were 49% more deaths among 35 to 44-year-olds in the North than the South in 2015, and 29% more among 25 to 34-year-olds.

Lead researcher Professor Iain Buchan said: “Five decades of death records tell a tale of two Englands, North and South.

“They are divided by resources and life expectancy – a profound inequality resistant to the public health interventions of successive governments.

“A new approach is required, one that must address the economic and social factors that underpin early deaths.”

A rainbow over Blackpool
A rainbow over Blackpool – but death statistics for Northerners are not so pretty

The researchers defined the North of England as the North East, North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, East Midlands and West Midlands.

Meanwhile, the South comprised the East, South West, London and South East.

The study used data from the Office for National Statistics on the whole English population from 1965 to 2015.

The full results will be published in the BMJ’s Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health.

A Government spokeswoman said: “This Government is committed to creating a society where everybody gets the opportunity to make a success of their hard work – regardless of where they are from.”

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