Dimension: Healthy throughout life
- Life expectancy at birth
- Health‑adjusted life expectancy (HALE)
Why does this matter
Increased life expectancy is one of the great success stories of the 20th century and has underpinned sustained improvements in the wellbeing of people's lives.
Has there been progress
As a measurement, life expectancy at birth captures the average number of years a newborn can expect to live and has risen steadily over time.1
A boy born between 2019‑21 can expect to live to 81.3, while a girl can expect to live to 85.4 years. This is equal 4th highest life expectancy at birth in the world, as ranked by the OECD.2
Health‑adjusted life expectancy (HALE) extends the concept of life expectancy by considering the length of time an individual at birth could expect to live in full health without disease or injury. Men and women born in 2022 could expect to live an average of 88 per cent and 87 per cent of their lives in full health, respectively.3
Between 2003 and 2022, health‑adjusted life expectancy at birth increased by 2.2 years for men and 1.3 years for women. However, the average proportion of life spent in full health has decreased slightly for both men and women.
How does this differ across cohorts
A gap exists in life expectancy between First Nations Australians and non‑Indigenous people. In 2015‑2017, First Nations life expectancy for men and women was lower than for non‑Indigenous Australians by 8.6 and 7.8 years, respectively.4
3 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2021) Australian Burden of Disease Study: Methods and supplementary material 2018, AIHW website, accessed 22 June 2023.
3 Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2021) Australian Burden of Disease Study: Methods and supplementary material 2018, accessed 22 June 2023.
4 Australian Bureau of Statistics (2018) Life Tables for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, accessed 11 July 2023.