Finance Retirement Here’s to a long life: Aussies living longer than ever

Here’s to a long life: Aussies living longer than ever

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Australians are living longer than at any time, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) says, as death rates fall to a record low.

According to the ABS, Australia’s life expectancy estimates are at their highest level, and remain among the highest in the world.

The combined male and female figure of 82 years, while a little lower than Japan and Hong Kong, is higher than Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States, says the ABS Director of Demography, Bjorn Jarvis.

Life expectancy Australia
Source: ABS.

“A boy born today could expect to live 79.9 years, while a girl could expect to live 84.3 years,” he said.

The Australian Capital Territory has the highest life expectancy at birth, with 81.2 years for males and 85.1 years for females. 

The lowest life expectancy is in the Northern Territory, at 74.7 years for males and 80 years for females.

“For those approaching retirement age, say 65 years, males could expect to live a further 19 years and females a further 22 years.”

While there were 147,098 deaths registered in Australia in 2012, the standardised death rate fell to 5.5 deaths per 1,000 people, the lowest rate ever recorded in Australia.

In 2002, the death rate was 6.8 deaths per 1,000 people.

This decrease over the past 10 years was greater for males (around two deaths per 1,000 males) than for females (around one death per 1,000 females).

Over the past 10 years, life expectancy at birth has improved by 2.5 years for males and 1.7 years for females.

Standardised death rates enable the comparison of death rates between populations with different age structures by relating them to a standard population (currently, the age distribution of all persons in the Australian population at 30 June 2001).