Health-adjusted life expectancy (HALE) extends the concept of life expectancy (the number of years a person can expect to live) by considering the number of years a person of a particular age could expect to live in full health (without disease and/or injury) and in ill health (with disease and/or injury). For example, a 21-year old male can expect to live 52.0 years (86%) of their remaining life in full health and 8.7 years (14%) of their remaining life in ill health based on estimated age-specific morbidity and mortality rates in 2022. For detailed methods for the estimation of HALE, refer to the Australian Burden of Disease Study: methods and supplementary material 2018 report.
Life expectancy and HALE can be measured at any age but are typically reported from birth (which represents the average life expectancy in years for a baby born that year) and at age 65, describing health in an ageing population.
The ratio of HALE to life expectancy, expressed as a percentage, represents the proportion of life expectancy that is spent in full health. Comparing the ratio over time can highlight whether or not an increase in life expectancy is accompanied by an increase in time spent in full health or in ill health.
Use the interactive graphs below to explore the health-adjusted life expectancy of Australians, at various ages and by sex, for the most recent year (2022) compared with previous years (2003, 2011, 2015 and 2018). For a discussion of results related to HALE, refer to the Summary.
The life expectancy used to calculate HALE in 2022 was sourced from the 2018–2020 life table (ABS 2021). Life expectancy in Australia has generally increased over time, however, a small decline in life expectancy for 2020–2022 is anticipated due to the impact of COVID-19, compared to the 2018–2020 life table. For more information on HALE and the life expectancies used, see Technical notes.