The states with the highest and lowest life expectancies

Life expectancy in Australia continues to increase, with a boy born today expected to live to 80.9 years and a girl to 85.0 years, according to the latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

"Male life expectancy has increased by 0.2 years since 2016-2018, and by 1.6 years in the past 10 years. Female life expectancy has increased by 0.1 years since 2016-2018, and by 1.1 years in the past decade," ABS demography director Lauren Ford said.

Life expectancy for males has improved at a faster rate than that for females.

Around 30 years ago (1988), life expectancy at birth in Australia was 73.1 years for males and 79.5 years for females, a gap of 6.4 years. The gap has now narrowed to 4.1 years in 2017-2019.

"Australians have a higher life expectancy than comparable countries, such as New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the USA," Ms Ford said.

Today an Australian male aged 50 years can expect to live another 32.9 years, and a female another 36.3 years.

"This is longer than life expectancies at birth, as most 50 year olds have successfully made it through the first several decades of life".

Victoria recorded the highest male life expectancy (81.8 years), followed by the Australian Capital Territory (81.6 years), Western Australia (80.9 years), New South Wales (80.7 years), South Australia (80.4 years), Queensland (80.3 years) and Tasmania (79.5 years).

The Australian Capital Territory recorded the highest female life expectancy (85.6 years), closely followed by Victoria (85.5 years) and Western Australia (85.4 years), then New South Wales (85.0 years), Queensland (84.8 years), South Australia (84.7 years) and Tasmania (83.6 years).

The Northern Territory recorded the lowest life expectancy for both males and females (75.5 years and 80.6 years). Despite this, male and female life expectancies in the Northern Territory showed the largest gains of all the states and territories over the last decade (2.2 years and 1.6 years).

Are you surprised male life expectancy has improved at a faster rate? How have you attempted to work out your longevity for retirement planning purposes?


Then a 107 year old female from the ACT must be an aberraton?  This friend of mine just passed away yesterday (05/11/20).

The problem with statistics is that they often miss the point.  Its not so much how long we live, but rather the quality of life that we enjoy as we age.  Unfortunately in modern Australia there seems to be a far too many older people whose quality of life is affected by factors such as availability and quality of medical services, poverty and social isolation, to say nothing of the apalling aged care services that have been revealed in the Royal Commission.  I'm sure that the current LNP government in Canberra don't see us as an asset, only as a costly liability - the sooner we die, the better, seems to be the attitude of some in the current Canberra bubble.

It may be true for some but the majority are living longer and healthier than ever. 


To make a comment, please register or login

Preview your comment