HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW
HealthStats NSW

International rankings of life expectancy

  • Life expectancy in selected WHO countries by sex
Females, Portugal
84.5Females, Malta
83.3Females, Ireland
83.4Females, Netherlands
83.2Females, Austria
84.2Females, New Zealand
84Females, Israel
84.2Females, Sweden
84.1Females, Luxembourg
84.6Females, Iceland
83.9Females, Norway
84.3Females, Republic of Korea
85.6Females, Italy
84.9Females, Canada
84.7Females, Singapore
85Females, France
85.7Females, Australia
84.8Females, Spain
85.7Females, Switzerland
85.2Females, Japan
87.1Females, Portugal
84.5Females, Malta
83.3Females, Ireland
83.4Females, Netherlands
83.2Females, Austria
84.2Females, New Zealand
84Females, Israel
84.2Females, Sweden
84.1Females, Luxembourg
84.6Females, Iceland
83.9Females, Norway
84.3Females, Republic of Korea
85.6Females, Italy
84.9Females, Canada
84.7Females, Singapore
85Females, France
85.7Females, Australia
84.8Females, Spain
85.7Females, Switzerland
85.2Females, Japan
87.1Males, Portugal
78.3Males, Malta
79.6Males, Ireland
79.7Males, Netherlands
80Males, Austria
79.4Males, New Zealand
80.5Males, Israel
80.3Males, Sweden
80.6Males, Luxembourg
80.1Males, Iceland
80.9Males, Norway
80.6Males, Republic of Korea
79.5Males, Italy
80.5Males, Canada
80.9Males, Singapore
80.8Males, France
80.1Males, Australia
81Males, Spain
80.3Males, Switzerland
81.2Males, Japan
81.1Males, Portugal
78.3Males, Malta
79.6Males, Ireland
79.7Males, Netherlands
80Males, Austria
79.4Males, New Zealand
80.5Males, Israel
80.3Males, Sweden
80.6Males, Luxembourg
80.1Males, Iceland
80.9Males, Norway
80.6Males, Republic of Korea
79.5Males, Italy
80.5Males, Canada
80.9Males, Singapore
80.8Males, France
80.1Males, Australia
81Males, Spain
80.3Males, Switzerland
81.2Males, Japan
81.1
  • + Source

    WHO 2018. WHO Statistical information system. Life tables for WHO member states. Geneva: WHO, 2018. Centre for Epidemiology and Evidence, NSW Ministry of Health.

  • + Notes

    Only WHO countries with population greater than 300,000 are included. 
     

  • + Commentary

    The Australian population has one of the highest life expectancies in the world.

    The World Health Organisation (WHO) publish international rankings of life expectancy as it is a key high level indicator of the health of different populations. Figures published by WHO in 2016 show that life expectancy for males in Australia was 81.0 (third highest, 0.2 years behind Switzerland in first place) and 84.8 years for females (seventh highest, 2.3 years behind Japan in first place). Life expectancy is usually ranked for both sexes combined and Australia's life expectancy overall was ranked fourth (equal with France and Singapore) at 82.9 years after Japan (at 84.2 years), Switzerland (83.3 years) and Spain (83.1 years). Estimates for life expectancy published by the WHO and those published in Australia may vary slightly due to differences in methods used.

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  • + Methods
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    • Key points: Life expectancy

      • Life expectancy in NSW continues to increase. In 2018:

      • newborn males could expect to live for 81.5 years, while newborn females could expect to live for 85.7 years

      • although females can still expect to live longer than males, the gap between the sexes is narrowing. Life expectancy has increased by about 10 years for females since 1974, whereas there has been a 10 year increase for males since 1982. 

    • Introduction: Life expectancy

      Definitions

      Life expectancy at birth

      Life expectancy at birth is an estimate of the average length of time (in years) that a person can expect to live, assuming that the current rates of death for each age group will remain the same for the lifespan of that person. Life expectancy at birth is influenced by many factors including socioeconomic status, genetic factors, biomedical risk factors, the quality of the health system, including preventive health, and the ability of people to access health care.

      Death rates will almost certainly change over the lifetime of a person born now, due to changes in social and economic conditions, changes in lifestyle, advances in health care, and possibly the emergence of new diseases. However, because no-one knows what the death rates for each age group and sex will be in the future, the usual practice is to use the current rates of death to calculate life expectancy (AIHW 2010).

      Life expectancy at 65 years

      Life expectancy at 65 years of age is an estimate of the average age at death for someone who turns 65 years old in a given year, assuming that death rates prevailing in that year continue unchanged. Death rates do generally change but this assumption is more reasonable for a 65 year-old than for someone just born, because the maximum additional life span for someone aged 65 is much shorter.

      Life expectancy at age 65 years is influenced by lifestyle and nutritional and environmental factors, as well as access to and the quality of contemporary health services.

      At older ages women can still expect to live longer than men of the same age, but the difference is smaller than the difference in life expectancy at birth between the sexes. This reflects the fact that males are at greater risk than women of dying before they reach advanced age, primarily from injury, suicide and cardiovascular disease.

      Life expectancy in NSW and Australia

      The Australian population has one of the highest life expectancies in the world. Life expectancy for males and females in NSW is usually very close to the figure for Australia as a whole. Refer to the Methods tab for more information on differences between sources and methods of calculating life expectancy.

      Life expectancy differentials among NSW population subgroups

      In NSW life expectancy varies among different population subgroups. There is a gradient of decreasing life expectancy with increasing socioeconomic disadvantage and increasing remoteness from service centres across NSW. There is also locational variation (based on where people usually reside) in life expectancy by Local Health District and Primary Health Network. Aboriginal people in NSW have a much shorter life expectancy (almost 10 years lower) than non-Aboriginal people.

      References

      Australian Bureau of Statistics. Life tables for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. 3302.0.55.003. Canberra: ABS. Available at: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/3302.0.55.0032010-2012?OpenDocument

      Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Life expectancy and deaths. AIHW. Available at: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-statistics/health-conditions-disability-deaths/life-expectancy-deaths/overview

      Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Health at a glance. Statistics. OECD. Available at: http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/social-issues-migration-health/health-at-a-glance_19991312

    • Interventions: Life expectancy

      Longer life expectancy mainly results from reduced deaths in infancy, better treatment for common diseases which extend lives and a healthier older population. Health strategies in all of these areas are necessary to improve life expectancy in all age cohorts in a population, throughout the socioeconomic strata and in Indigenous and ethnic groups.

    • For more information: Life expectancy

      Useful websites include:

      Australian Bureau of Statistics at http://www.abs.gov.au

      Australian Institute of Health and Welfare at http://www.aihw.gov.au

      healthdirect at http://www.healthdirect.gov.au

      World Health Organization at http://www.who.int/en/

      Australian Bureau of Statistics. Life tables for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians. 3302.0.55.003. Canberra: ABS. Available at: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/3302.0.55.0032010-2012?OpenDocument

      Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Life expectancy and deaths. AIHW. Available at: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-statistics/health-conditions-disability-deaths/life-expectancy-deaths/overview

      Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Health at a glance. Statistics. OECD. Available at: http://www.oecd-ilibrary.org/social-issues-migration-health/health-at-a-glance_19991312

Last Updated At: Monday, 27 January 2020