Female life expectancy continues to climb

Australian females have had the highest life expectancy ever recorded in Australia, according to the latest figures released from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

“Female life expectancy increased to 84.6 years in 2016 and is now the sixth highest in the world. Japan tops the list with 86.4 years,” Beidar Cho, ABS Director of Demography, said.

Male life expectancy remained steady at 80.4 years, with only two other countries in the world having higher male life expectancy: Iceland at 80.6 years and Switzerland at 80.5 years.

The Australian Capital Territory recorded the highest male life expectancy of all states and territories (81.3 years), followed by Victoria (81.2 years), New South Wales (80.4 years), South Australia and Western Australia (both 80.3 years), Queensland (80.1 years) and Tasmania (78.8 years). The Australian Capital Territory had the highest female life expectancy (85.2 years), followed by South Australia and Western Australia (both 84.8 years), Victoria (84.7 years), New South Wales (84.6 years), Queensland (84.5 years) and Tasmania (82.9 years). The Northern Territory had the lowest life expectancy for both males (75.6 years) and females (78.7 years).

In the past 125 years to 2015, life expectancy in Australia increased by 33.2 years for males and 33.7 years for females. Earlier in this period, infants contributed the most to life expectancy improvements, but more recently, this contribution has declined.

“This reflects a major shift in causes of death from infectious diseases to chronic diseases,” Ms Cho said.

LIFE EXPECTANCY AT BIRTH, STATES, TERRITORIES AND AUSTRALIA – Selected years
Change
Change
2006
2015
2016
2006-2016
2015-2016

Australia(a)Males

years
78.7
80.4
80.4
1.7
0.0

Females

years
83.5
84.5
84.6
1.1
0.1

New South WalesMales

years
78.6
80.4
80.4
1.8
0.0

Females

years
83.4
84.6
84.6
1.2
0.0

VictoriaMales

years
79.3
81.1
81.2
1.9
0.1

Females

years
83.7
84.7
84.7
1.0
0.0

QueenslandMales

years
78.5
80.0
80.1
1.6
0.1

Females

years
83.4
84.3
84.5
1.1
0.2

South AustraliaMales

years
78.6
80.3
80.3
1.8
0.1

Females

years
83.6
84.4
84.8
0.9
0.1

Western AustraliaMales

years
79.1
80.5
80.3
1.2
-0.2

Females

years
83.8
85.0
84.8
1.0
-0.2

TasmaniaMales

years
77.4
78.9
78.8
1.4
-0.1

Females

years
82.3
82.8
82.9
0.6
0.1

Northern TerritoryMales

years
72.1
75.7
75.6
3.5
-0.1

Females

years
78.1
78.5
78.7
0.6
0.2

Australian Capital TerritoryMales

years
80.0
81.2
81.3
1.3
0.1

Females

years
83.9
85.3
85.2
1.3
-0.1

(a) Includes Other Territories.

/Public Release.