Life expectancy in Australia rose to its highest level on record, according to figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics earlier today.
In 2014, male life expectancy climbed to 80.3 years, up from 80.1 in 2013, while female life expectancy also increased by 0.1 to 84.4 years.
The increase left Australia ahead of many developed nations — including the United States — in terms of life expectancy at birth.
“There are only six other countries worldwide where both men and women have a life expectancy over 80 years,” said Beidar Cho from the ABS. “These countries are Japan, Italy, Switzerland, Iceland, Israel and Sweden.”
“Australia has a higher life expectancy, at both the male and female level, than many similar countries to ours, such as New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the United States of America.”
Though Australians are now living on average longer than ever before, the number of deaths recorded in 2014 rose 4.0% to 153,580, the largest annual total on record.
The national median age of death was 81.8 years.
South Australia recorded a median age of death at 83 years, the highest in the country. At the other end of the spectrum, the Northern Territory, which has the highest level of Aboriginal people as a percentage of its population – around 30% – was just 63.3 years.
That’s nearly two decades differential in the same country.
The number of recorded deaths for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders rose to 2,914, the highest annual total in at least the past decade. In the Northern Territory deaths numbered 562, also the highest level since 2004.
There was better news on the infant mortality front, with the number of deaths for children aged between 0-4 years falling to the lowest level seen in the decade the data spans.