Life expectancy

Latest release

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

Reference period
2020 - 2022

Key statistics

  • Life expectancy at birth was 81.2 years for males and 85.3 years for females in 2020-2022, a decrease of 0.1 years for both from the previous year (2019-2021)
  • Life expectancy was highest in the Australian Capital Territory for both males (82.2 years) and females (86.0 years)
  • Life expectancy was lowest in the Northern Territory for both males (76.2 years) and females (80.7 years).

All previous editions of this release are titled 'Life tables'.

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 2020-2022 period, making it the first to span all three years of the COVID-19 pandemic. 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. In 2022, Australia's pattern of mortality differed to that of the first two years of the pandemic and the number of deaths increased by almost 20,000 deaths from 2021, with almost 10,000 of these being due to COVID-19.


Life expectancy decreased in 2020-2022 for the first time since the mid 1990's.

  • Life expectancy at birth for males was 81.2 years and 85.3 years for females, a decrease of 0.1 years for both.
  • Over the past decade, life expectancy increased by 1.3 years for males and 1.0 years for females.
  • The gap in life expectancy between males and females is 4.1 years.
  • Around 30 years ago (1992), life expectancy at birth was 74.5 years for males and 80.4 years for females, a gap of 5.9 years.

States and territories

Life expectancy at birth:

  • was highest for both males (82.2 years) and females (86.0 years) in the Australian Capital Territory
  • was lowest for both males (76.2 years) and females (80.7 years) in the Northern Territory, 5.0 years and 4.6 years lower than for Australian males and females.
  • decreased across all states and territories for females
  • decreased across most states and territories for males, except in South Australia, Western Australia and Tasmania which recorded no change.
  1. Includes Other Territories
  1. Includes Other Territories


Life expectancy at birth was:

  • generally higher in capital city SA4s than remote SA4s
  • highest for males in Sydney - Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury (85.7 years)
  • highest for females in Sydney - North Sydney and Hornsby (88.2 years)
  • lowest for both males and females in Northern Territory - Outback (71.6 years and 75.8 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 sixth, in the world.
Top 20 countries for life expectancy in the world(a), United Nations, 2021
Republic of Korea83.7680.391586.763
New Zealand82.451780.581284.3219

Data downloads

Data files

Previous catalogue number

This release previously used catalogue number 3302.0.55.001

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