Australia's average life expectancy jumps to third globally behind Monaco and Japan, ABS data shows

It looks like the vastly "incorrect" diet most Australians live on -- sausages, burgers, steak, meat-pies etc -- cannot be too bad after all. We seem to thrive on what the wise-heads say will kill us

The life expectancy of Australians has continued its steady rise with the country now ranked third in the world, up from sixth last year.

New figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show life expectancy at birth is now 85.4 years for females and 81.3 years for males.

The combined male and female figure is 84.32 years, putting Australia behind only the principality of Monaco, and Japan, according to global data from the United Nations.

ABS director of demography, Emily Walter, said it is the highest ranking the country has achieved.

"That takes into account the first two years of the COVID-19 pandemic and shows really that Australia's life expectancy has remained strong through that period," she said.

"It's important to understand though what that's showing is not only improvements or changes in life expectancy [here], but also changes in other countries' life expectancy."

The statistics cover 2019 to 2021 – so do not take into account this year, which has been Australia's deadliest period of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Head of the Australian National University's School of Demography, Professor Vladimir Canudas Romo, said based on mortality numbers so far in 2022, he expects life expectancy at birth will fall by about six months in next year's figures.

"It's actually OK news compared to the two years that they lost in the US, about the same in Spain," he said. "That said, I pay my respects to all the families that sadly lost relatives."

According to the ABS, life expectancy at birth estimates represent the average number of years that a newborn baby could expect to live "assuming current age-specific death rates are experienced through his/her lifetime".


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