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3302.0 - Deaths, Australia, 2010 Quality Declaration 
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Contents >> Summary of Findings >> Life expectancy at birth

LIFE EXPECTANCY AT BIRTH

Life expectancy at birth represents the average number of years that a baby could expect to live, assuming current age-specific death rates were experienced. In 2008-2010, life expectancy at birth for Australia was 79.5 years for males and 84.0 years for females, an increase of 0.2 years for males and 0.1 years for females over the life expectancy in 2007-2009.

Over the past century, male life expectancy at birth has increased by 24 years, from 55.2 years in 1901-1910 to 79.5 years in 2008-2010. Similarly, female life expectancy at birth has increased by 25 years, from 58.8 years to 84.0 years. The increase in life expectancy at birth reflects declining death rates at all ages.

For males, life expectancy at birth was highest in the Australian Capital Territory (80.5 years), exceeding the Australian life expectancy for males by 1.0 years. For females, life expectancy at birth was also highest in the Australian Capital Territory (84.7 years). This was 0.7 years higher than the female Australian life expectancy. Life expectancy at birth was lowest in the Northern Territory, where it was 74.0 years for males, and 79.2 years for females. These were 5.5 and 4.8 years lower than the Australian life expectancies respectively. For information on life tables, see paragraphs 43 to 52 of the Explanatory Notes.

2.13 LIFE EXPECTANCY AT BIRTH - 1901-1910 to 2008-2010
Graph: 2.13 LIFE EXPECTANCY AT BIRTH—1901–1910 to 2008–2010



Regional life expectancy

For the period 2008-2010, life expectancy at birth varied between the Statistical Divisions (SD) of Australia by approximately 9.2 years for both males and females. Male life expectancy at birth was highest in Gold Coast SD and Melbourne SD (both 80.7 years). Female life expectancy at birth was highest in Gold Coast SD (85.2 years) and Sunshine Coast SD (85.1 years).

Male life expectancy was lowest in the Northern Territory Balance SD (71.5 years) followed by Far West SD (75.1 years). Female life expectancy was lowest in the Northern Territory Balance SD (75.9 years) and South Eastern SD (80.6 years).

Australia's more rural and remote populations tend to have higher mortality rates and consequently lower life expectancy than populations living in either capital cities or urbanised areas (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW), 1998). For instance, Northern Territory Balance SD, which has the lowest life expectancy at birth, is a remote area with high proportions of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians.

Outside the capital cities, the more urbanised Statistical Divisions tended to have higher life expectancies at birth, such as South Australian SD's South-East and Outer Adelaide. For more information, see data cube Table 4: Deaths, Summary, Statistical Divisions, 2005 to 2010.





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