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Female life expectancy continues to climb

Australian females have had the highest life expectancy ever recorded in Australia, according to the latest figures released from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

“Female life expectancy increased to 84.6 years in 2016 and is now the sixth highest in the world. Japan tops the list with 86.4 years,” Beidar Cho, ABS Director of Demography, said.

Male life expectancy remained steady at 80.4 years, with only two other countries in the world having higher male life expectancy: Iceland at 80.6 years and Switzerland at 80.5 years.

The Australian Capital Territory recorded the highest male life expectancy of all states and territories (81.3 years), followed by Victoria (81.2 years), New South Wales and South Australia (both 80.4 years), Western Australia (80.3 years), Queensland (80.1 years) and Tasmania (78.8 years). The Australian Capital Territory had the highest female life expectancy (85.2 years), followed by Western Australia (84.8 years), Victoria (84.7 years), New South Wales (84.6 years), Queensland and South Australia (both 84.5 years) and Tasmania (82.9 years). The Northern Territory had the lowest life expectancy for both males (75.6 years) and females (78.7 years).

In the past 125 years to 2015, life expectancy in Australia increased by 33.2 years for males and 33.7 years for females. Earlier in this period, infants contributed the most to life expectancy improvements, but more recently, this contribution has declined.

“This reflects a major shift in causes of death from infectious diseases to chronic diseases,” Ms Cho said.

Further details are in Life Tables, States, Territories and Australia, 2014-2016 (cat. no. 3302.0.55.001). State, territory and sub-state information is also available for free download from the ABS website http://www.abs.gov.au.