Male and female life expectancy gap narrows: research

03 December, 2009

The gap between male and female life expectancies at birth is now the lowest it has been for over 50 years.

This is one of the findings of the latest actuarial investigation into the mortality of the Australian population.

Average improvement in mortality over the five years since the previous investigation was almost 50 per cent higher for males than for females over the childhood and young adult ages.

This has led to a narrowing of the gap between male and female life expectancies at all ages. Males born today can expect to live for 79.0 years without making any allowance for improvement in mortality rates.

Female life expectancy at birth is 83.7 years, resulting in a gap of less than five years for the first time since the 1940's.  In the early 1980's, the gap was over seven years.
The Australian Government Actuary recently released Australian Life Tables 2005-07, which reports on the mortality of Australians in the three years centred on the 2006 Census. Australian Life Tables is published every five years.
Source: Australian Government Actuary's