Disability-free life expectancy

Australians are living longer. Their state of health in these years has important implications for population health and for Australia’s health and care systems.

Life expectancy is a valuable indicator of overall population health. It measures how many years, on average, a person at any given age, can expect to live. However, life expectancy alone cannot provide insight into the quality of life during those years. For this reason, ‘health expectancy’ measures are often also used.

Health expectancy is a general term describing the expected years a person will spend in various health states—in this section, the estimated years spent living with and without disability.

Overall, the disability-free life expectancy of Australians—the estimated years we can expect to live without disability—has improved in recent years.

Where can I find out more?

Detailed data tables are available at Data.

For information on the:


Sullivan DF 1971. A single index of mortality and morbidity. Health Services and Mental Health Administration Health reports 86(4):347–354.