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
2019 - 2021

Key statistics

  • Life expectancy at birth was 81.3 years for males and 85.4 years for females in 2019-21.
  • The Australian Capital Territory had the highest male (82.7 years) and female (86.3 years) life expectancy of the states and territories.

Life expectancy refers to the average number of additional years a person of a given age and sex could be expected to live, assuming current age-sex specific death rates are experienced throughout their lifetime.

This release presents life expectancy estimates based on the occurrence of deaths in the 2019-2021 period. In 2020, Australia recorded a lower than expected death rate as public health measures put in place to restrict the spread of COVID-19 also resulted in a reduction of deaths across a number of other causes. In 2021, the death rate increased but was still lower than pre-pandemic levels.

Provisional mortality statistics released for 2022 shows an increase in the death rate compared to the last five years.  Data for 2022 will be reflected in the next release of Life Tables due in November 2023.


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

  • Over the past decade, life expectancy increased by 1.6 years for males and 1.2 years for females.
  • Around 30 years ago (1991), life expectancy at birth was 74.4 years for males and 80.3 years for females, a gap of 5.9 years.
  • The gap has now narrowed to 4.1 years in 2019-21.

States and territories

Life expectancy at birth was:

  • highest for both males (82.7 years) and females (86.3 years) in the Australian Capital Territory
  • lowest for both males (76.3 years) and females (81.0 years) in the Northern Territory, 5.0 years and 4.4 years lower than for Australian males and females.
Life expectancy at birth by state and territory of usual residence
 2009-20112019-2021Change over 10 years
State or territoryMalesFemalesMalesFemalesMalesFemales
  1. Includes Other Territories.


Life expectancy at birth:

  • was generally higher in capital city SA4s than remote SA4s
  • was highest for males in Sydney - Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury (85.6 years)
  • was highest for females in Sydney - Ryde (88.4 years)
  • was lowest for both males and females in Northern Territory - Outback (71.7 years and 77.1 years).

International comparison

Based on United Nations estimates:

  • Australia has the third highest life expectancy in the world
  • Monaco and Japan have higher life expectancies than Australia
  • Australia's male life expectancy ranked second, and female fifth, in the world.

Top 20 countries for life expectancy in the world(a), United Nations, 2020

Monaco86.54(rank 1)84.78(rank 1)88.44(rank 1)
Japan84.69(rank 2)81.61(rank 3)87.72(rank 2)
Australia84.32(rank 3)82.89(rank 2)85.72(rank 5)
Republic of Korea83.61(rank 4)80.24(rank 13)86.70(rank 3)
Malta83.36(rank 5)80.61(rank 9)86.22(rank 4)
Norway83.20(rank 6)81.47(rank 4)84.89(rank 11)
Switzerland83.07(rank 7)81.00(rank 6)85.08(rank 8)
Singapore82.86(rank 8)80.47(rank 12)85.32(rank 6)
Liechtenstein82.80(rank 9)80.57(rank 11)85.01(rank 10)
New Zealand82.74(rank 10)80.88(rank 7)84.57(rank 14)
Iceland82.58(rank 11)81.10(rank 5)84.09(rank 20)
Ireland82.47(rank 12)80.81(rank 8)84.13(rank 18)
Sweden82.43(rank 13)80.60(rank 10)84.29(rank 17)
Italy82.40(rank 14)80.04(rank 15)84.69(rank 12)
Israel82.36(rank 15)80.19(rank 14)84.47(rank 15)
Spain82.29(rank 16)79.55(rank 19)85.01(rank 9)
France82.21(rank 17)79.17(rank 22)85.17(rank 7)
Canada82.05(rank 18)79.98(rank 16)84.10(rank 19)
Finland81.87(rank 19)79.07(rank 23)84.65(rank 13)
Netherlands81.64(rank 20)79.92(rank 17)83.34(rank 29)
  1. Based on life expectancy at birth for persons.

Source: For all countries, see United Nations, Department of Economic and Social Affairs, Population Division (2022). World Population Prospects 2022, Online Edition

Data downloads

Data files

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 3302.0.55.001

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