Life tables

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Statistics about life tables for Australia, states and territories and life expectancy at birth estimates for sub-state regions

Reference period
2016 - 2018

Key statistics

  • Life expectancy at birth was 80.7 years for males and 84.9 years for females in 2016-18. 
  • Victoria (81.7 years) had the highest male life expectancy. 
  • Australian Capital Territory and Victoria (85.3 years) had the highest female life expectancy. 

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 recent years, life expectancy for males has improved at a faster rate than that for women.

  • Over the past decade, life expectancy for males increased by 1.5 years and females by 1.2 years. 
  • Around 50 years ago (1965-67), life expectancy 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 2016-18.

Reasons for improvements in life expectancy include:

  • improved health services
  • safer working environments
  • medical and technological advances

States and territories

Life expectancy at birth was:

  • highest for males in Victoria (81.7 years)
  • highest for females in the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria (85.3 years)
  • lowest for both males (75.5 years) and females (80.2 years) in the Northern Territory, 5.2 years and 4.7 years lower than for Australian males and females respectively
Life expectancy at birth by state and territory of usual residence
State or territory2006-2008, Males2006-2008, Females2016-2018, Males2016-2018, FemalesChange over 10 years, MalesChange over 10 years, Females
  1. Includes Other Territories.


Life expectancy at birth:

  • varied between Statistical Area Level 4s (SA4s) by 12.5 years for males and 11.9 years for females
  • was generally higher in capital city SA4s than remote SA4s
  • was highest for males in Melbourne - Inner East and Sydney - North Sydney and Hornsby (both 85.3 years)
  • was highest for females in Sydney - North Sydney and Hornsby (88.1 years)
  • was lowest for both males and females in Northern Territory - Outback (72.8 years and 76.2 years respectively)

International comparison

  • 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.
Life expectancy at birth, top 10 countries in the world(a), United Nations 2015 - 2020
Japan84.43 (rank 1)81.28 (rank 2)87.47 (rank 1)
Switzerland83.56 (rank 2)81.60 (rank 1)85.41 (rank 5)
Singapore83.39 (rank 3)81.25 (rank 3)85.52 (rank 4)
Spain83.36 (rank 4)80.60 (rank 10)86.05 (rank 2)
Italy83.28 (rank 5)81.04 (rank 6)85.35 (rank 7)
Australia83.20 (rank 6)81.21 (rank 5)85.22 (rank 8)
Channel Islands82.84 (rank 7)80.86 (rank 8)84.74 (rank 9)
Iceland82.77 (rank 8)81.23 (rank 4)84.31 (rank 15)
Republic of Korea82.77 (rank 8)79.63 (rank 18)85.70 (rank 3)
Israel82.74 (rank 10)81.04 (rank 6)84.32 (rank 14)

For both men and women, Australia has a higher life expectancy than similar countries such as New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.

Male life expectancy at birth and at age 65 for selected countries

Female life expectancy at birth and at age 65 for selected countries

Data downloads

Table 1: Life tables, states, territories and Australia - 2016-2018

Table 2: Life tables, statistical area level 4 - 2010-2012 to 2016-2018

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 3302.0.55.001.

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