Australian women are living longer than ever

Don Gribble 23 October 2017

Woman with good posture, eating a salad while sitting on a yoga mat

Aussie women have the sixth highest life expectancy in the world.

Female life expectancy is continuing to climb in Australia with females now living longer than ever before, according to the latest figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

While women in Japan dominate global statistics, with a life expectancy of 86.4 years, Australian women are now sixth highest in the world, recording an average life expectancy of 84.6 years in 2016.

The ACT had the highest female life expectancy (85.2 years), followed by WA (84.8 years), Victoria (84.7 years), NSW (84.6 years), Queensland and South Australia (84.5 years), Tasmania (82.9 years) and the Northern Territory (78.7 years).

Meanwhile, male life expectancy remained steady at 80.4 years, only slightly behind Iceland at 80.6 years and Switzerland at 80.5 years.

Leading the male life expectancy list in Australia was ACT with 81.3 years, followed by Victoria (81.2 years), NSW and South Australia (80.4 years), WA (80.3 years), Queensland (80.1 years), Tasmania (78.8 years) and the Northern Territory (75.6 years).

Life expectancy has increased dramatically in Australia over the past 125 years (up by 33.7 years for females and 33.2 years for males). But according to the Global Burden of Disease study, the main causes of premature death have shifted from infant mortality to chronic diseases such as heart disease, lung cancer, stroke, suicide, Alzheimer's and obesity-related illnesses.

So while Australians in general and Australian women in particular can look forward to greater longevity, it would seem that quality of life may not be improving at the same rate.

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