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LIFE EXPECTANCY AT BIRTH
Life expectancy at birth estimates represent the average number of years that a newborn baby could expect to live, assuming current age-specific death rates are experienced through his/her lifetime. In 2014-2016, life expectancy at birth was 80.4 years for males and 84.6 years for females (see graph 1.1). In the past 10 years, life expectancy has increased by 1.7 years for males and 1.1 years for females. The increase in life expectancy at birth reflects declining death rates at most ages. For detailed data see data cube Table 1: Life Tables, States, Territories and Australia, from the Downloads tab.
Footnote(s): (a) Life expectancy at birth estimates for earlier years are available from Australian Historical Population Statistics, 2014 (cat. no. 3105.0.65.001).
Improvement in male life expectancy has outpaced that of female life expectancy in recent years. Around 45 years ago (1971), life expectancy at birth in Australia was 68.3 years for males and 74.8 years for females, a gap of 6.5 years. The gap has now narrowed to 4.1 years in 2014-2016.
Reasons for improvements in life expectancy include, but are not limited to, improved health services, safer working environments, and medical and technological advances.
STATES AND TERRITORIES
In 2014-2016, the Australian Capital Territory had the highest life expectancy at birth of all states and territories for both males (81.3 years) and females (85.2 years). Life expectancy at birth was lowest in the Northern Territory at 75.6 years for males and 78.7 years for females. These were 4.8 years and 5.9 years lower than the life expectancies for Australian males and females respectively.
STATISTICAL AREA LEVEL 4
In 2014-2016, life expectancy at birth varied between Statistical Area Level 4s (SA4s) by 12.0 years for males and 12.6 years for females. Generally, capital city SA4s recorded higher life expectancies than remote SA4s.
The highest life expectancies for both males and females were recorded in Sydney - North Sydney and Hornsby (85.1 years and 87.7 years respectively). The lowest life expectancies for both males and females were in the SA4 of Northern Territory - Outback (73.1 years and 75.1 years respectively).
For detailed data, see data cube Table 2: Life expectancy at birth, Statistical Area Level 4, 2009-2011 to 2014-2016, from the Downloads tab.
Australia has the third highest male and female combined life expectancy in the world (United Nations). Only two other countries - Japan and Switzerland have higher life expectancies than Australia. Australia's male life expectancy ranked third and female sixth in the world.
Table 1.2 Life expectancy estimates at birth by sex, top 7 countries in the world(a), 2010-2015
Source: For all countries excluding Australia, see United Nations World Population Prospects: The 2017 Revision (estimates), last viewed 20 September 2017.
In 2014-2016, the male and female combined life expectancy at birth estimate for Australia was 82.5 years. This was 11.7 years higher than the corresponding latest available world average of 70.8 years in 2010-2015.
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