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 2016-2018, life expectancy at birth was 80.7 years for males and 84.9 years for females.
- In the past 10 years, life expectancy has increased by 1.5 years for males and 1.2 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.
1.1 LIFE EXPECTANCY AT BIRTH(a) - 1988 to 2016-2018
: (a) Life expectancy at birth estimates for earlier years are available from Australian Historical Population Statistics, 2016
(cat. no. 3105.0.65.001).
: Australian Historical Population Statistics
(3105.0.65.001); Life Tables, States, Territories and Australia
States and territories
- In recent years, life expectancy for males has improved at a faster rate than that for women.
- 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.
- Reasons for improvements in life expectancy include, but are not limited to, improved health services, safer working environments, and medical and technological advances.
- Of all states and territories, Victoria had the highest male life expectancy at birth (81.7 years) and the ACT and Victoria had the highest female life expectancy at birth (85.3 years).
- Life expectancy at birth was lowest in the Northern Territory at 75.5 years for males and 80.2 years for females. These were 5.2 years and 4.7 years lower than the life expectancies for Australian males and females respectively.
Statistical Area Level 4
Table 1.1 Life expectancy at birth, Sex, States and territories - 2006-2008 and 2016-2018
|State or territory of usual residence|
Increase over 10 years
|New South Wales|
|Australian Capital Territory|
|(a) Deaths that occurred on Norfolk Island from 1 July 2016 are included in this publication due to the introduction of the Norfolk Island Legislation Amendment Act 2015.|
(b) Includes Other Territories.
- In 2016-2018, life expectancy at birth varied between Statistical Area Level 4s (SA4s) by 12.5 years for males and 11.9 years for females.
- Generally, capital city SA4s recorded higher life expectancies than remote SA4s.
- The highest life expectancy for males was recorded in Melbourne - Inner East and Sydney - North Sydney and Hornsby (both 85.3 years) and for females in Sydney - North Sydney and Hornsby (88.1 years).
- The lowest life expectancies for both males and females were in the SA4 of Northern Territory - Outback (72.8 years and 76.2 years respectively).
For detailed data, see data cube Table 2: Life expectancy at birth, Statistical Area Level 4, 2010-2012 to 2016-2018
, from the Downloads tab.
Table 1.2 Male life expectancy estimates at birth and at age 65 for selected countries(a)
- Tables 1.2 and 1.3 present life expectancy estimates for selected countries, sourced from the respective countries website except for Switzerland, Japan and the USA which were sourced from the World Health Organization.
- According to these estimates, for both men and women, Australia has a higher life expectancy than similar countries such as New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the USA.
Table 1.3 Female life expectancy estimates at birth and at age 65 for selected countries(a)
|Country||Year||At birth||At age 65|
|Australia(f)||2016 to 2018||80.7||19.9|
|New Zealand(g)||2016 to 2018||80.2||19.6|
|UK(i)||2016 to 2018||79.3||18.6|
|(a) Based on life expectancy at birth for males.|
|(b) Source: Switzerland [World Health Organization]|
|(c) Source: Japan [World Health Organization]|
|(d) Source: Singapore [Department of Statistics Singapore]|
|(e) Source: Sweden [Statistics Sweden]|
|(f) Source: Australia [Australian Bureau of Statistics]|
|(g) Source: New Zealand [Stats NZ]|
|(h) Source: France [INSEE]|
|(i) Source: UK [Office for National Statistics]|
|(j) Source: USA [World Health Organization]|
(a) Based on life expectancy at birth for females.
(b) Source: Japan [World Health Organization]
(c) Source: Singapore [Department of Statistics Singapore]
(d) Source: France [INSEE]
(e) Source: Switzerland [World Health Organization]
(f) Source: Australia [Australian Bureau of Statistics]
(g) Source: Sweden [Statistics Sweden]
(h) Source: New Zealand [Stats NZ]
(i) Source: UK [Office for National Statistics]
(j) Source: USA [World Health Organization]
|Country||Year||At birth||At age 65|
|Australia(f)||2016 to 2018||84.9||22.6|
|New Zealand(h)||2016 to 2018||83.6||21.7|
|UK(i)||2016 to 2018||82.9||21.0|
Table 1.4 Life expectancy estimates at birth by sex, top 10 countries in the world(a), United Nations 2015 - 2020
- Table 1.4 presents life expectancy estimates for the top ten countries produced by the United Nations (including Australian estimates).
- According to these estimates, 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.
- Australia's male life expectancy ranked fifth and female eighth in the world.
(a) Based on life expectancy for persons.
Source: For all countries, see United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2019). World Population Prospects 2019, Online Edition. Rev. 1.
|Japan ||84.43 (rank 1)||81.28 (rank 2)||87.47 (rank 1) |
|Switzerland||83.56 (rank 2)||81.60 (rank 1)||85.41 (rank 5)|
|Singapore||83.39 (rank 3)||81.25 (rank 3)||85.52 (rank 4)|
|Spain||83.36 (rank 4)||80.60 (rank 10)||86.05 (rank 2)|
|Italy||83.28 (rank 5)||81.04 (rank 6)||85.35 (rank 7)|
|Australia||83.20 (rank 6)||81.21 (rank 5)||85.22 (rank 8)|
|Channel Islands||82.84 (rank 7)||80.86 (rank 8)||84.74 (rank 9)|
|Iceland||82.77 (rank 8)||81.23 (rank 4)||84.31 (rank 15)|
|Republic of Korea||82.77 (rank 8)||79.63 (rank 18)||85.70 (rank 3)|
|Israel||82.74 (rank 10)||81.04 (rank 6)||84.32 (rank 14)|