Health & Wellbeing

Canberra women have the longest life expectancy in Australia

Michael Weaver 5 November 2019
Females in the ACT are now living to 85.3 years

Females in the ACT are now living to 85.3 years, which is a rise of 1.3 years from figures in 2008, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. Photo: File.

Canberra women are among those with the longest life expectancy in Australia according to the latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

As of last year, females in the ACT are now living to 85.3 years, a rise of 1.3 years from 2008 data.

Males in the ACT are not far behind, with the life expectancy for men rising from 80.1 years in 2008 to 81.2 years in 2018.

Both Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory recorded the highest female life expectancies, closely followed by Western Australia (85.1 years), then New South Wales (84.9 years), Queensland and South Australia (both 84.7 years) and Tasmania (83.2 years).

For the men, Victoria recorded the highest male life expectancy (81.7 years), followed by the Australian Capital Territory (81.2 years), New South Wales (80.6 years), Western Australia (80.5 years), South Australia (80.4 years), Queensland (80.2 years) and Tasmania (79.3 years).

ABS Demography Director Beidar Cho said reasons for improvements in life expectancy include, but are not limited to, improved health services, safer working environments, and medical and technological advances.

Ms Cho also said that in recent years, life expectancy for males has improved at a faster rate than that for females.

“Around 50 years ago (1965-67), life expectancy at birth in Australia was 67.6 years for males and 74.2 years for females, a gap of 6.6 years. The gap has now narrowed to 4.2 years in 2016-2018,” Ms Cho said.

Between 2016-2018, life expectancy at birth was 80.7 years for males and 84.9 years for females.

Male life expectancy has increased by 0.2 years over the 2015-2017 to 2016-2018 period, and by 1.5 years in the past ten years.

Female life expectancy has increased by 0.3 years during the same period, and by 1.2 years in the past decade.

Australians have a higher life expectancy than similar countries, such as New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the US.

According to life expectancy estimates produced by the United Nations for the top ten countries, Australia has the sixth-highest male and female combined life expectancy in the world.

Japan, Switzerland, Singapore, Spain and Italy have higher life expectancies than Australia.

And for those Australians who make it as far as the traditional retirement age of 65 years, males can expect to live a further 19.9 years and females a further 22.6 years.

The Northern Territory recorded the lowest life expectancy for both males and females (75.5 years and 80.2 years, respectively).

Despite this, male and female life expectancies in the Northern Territory showed the greatest gains of all the states and territories over the last decade (2.9 years and 1.8 years).

Original Article published by Michael Weaver on The RiotACT.

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