Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (2019) The health of Australia’s females, AIHW, Australian Government, accessed 27 May 2022.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2019). The health of Australia’s females. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/men-women/female-health
The health of Australia’s females. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 10 December 2019, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/men-women/female-health
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. The health of Australia’s females [Internet]. Canberra: Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019 [cited 2022 May. 27]. Available from: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/men-women/female-health
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2019, The health of Australia’s females, viewed 27 May 2022, https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/men-women/female-health
Get citations as an Endnote file:
PDF | 2.3Mb
Life expectancy is expressed as either the number of years a newborn baby is expected to live, or the expected years of life remaining for a person at a given age.
Chart: AIHW. Source: AIHW 2019b.
Australian females born in 2015–2017 can expect to live 34 years longer than females born in 1881–1890.
Life expectancy at birth in Australia has improved dramatically for both sexes in the last century, and shows some variation between population groups (ABS 2018b, AIHW 2019e, OECD 2019):
For more information, see: Deaths in Australia: Life expectancy.
Health Adjusted Life Expectancy (HALE) reflects the length of time an individual at a specific age could, on average, expect to live in full health (AIHW 2019a). It can be measured at any age but is typically reported:
Life expectancy in Australia for females born in 2015 was 84.6 years, while the average number of healthy years (HALE) for these babies was 74.4 years. The difference between life expectancy and HALE (that is, the time expected in less than full health) was 10.2 years. This means that females could expect to spend 88% of their lives in full health.
While females born in 2015 are expected, on average, to live 4.2 years longer than males, they are also expected to have 2.9 more years of healthy life than males.
Life expectancy in 2015 for women aged 65 was 22.3 years—that is, they could expect to live to the age of 84.6. At age 65, women could expect on average, 16.8 healthy years of life and 5.5 years in less than full health.
Between 2003 and 2015, life expectancy and HALE at birth increased for females. Females gained 1.6 years in life expectancy (from 83.0 in 2003 to 84.6 in 2015) and 1.3 years in HALE (from 73.1 to 74.4 years) (AIHW 2019a).
For more information see: Australian Burden of Disease Study: Impact and causes of illness and death in Australia 2015
Mortality data, such as premature deaths, potentially avoidable deaths and mortality rates can help in understanding death and the fatal burden of disease in the population at a point in time.
Monitoring causes of death helps to measure the health status of a population. Causes of death can be used to:
In 2017, 78,051 Australian females died (AIHW 2019e). The median age at death was 85 years, and the leading cause of death was Dementia and Alzheimer disease (11%), followed by coronary heart disease (10%), and cerebrovascular disease (7.5%) (Figure 15). Leading causes of death for females varied by age group (Figure 16).
For more information see Deaths in Australia: Life expectancy.
Chart: AIHW. Source: AIHW 2019e (see Table S14).
Note: Disease rankings exclude ‘other‘ residual conditions from each disease group; for example, ‘other musculoskeletal conditions’.
Chart: AIHW. Source: AIHW 2019e (see Table S15).
In 2017, females accounted for around 2 in 5 (38%) of premature deaths. Mortality rates varied between population groups (AIHW 2019f):
For more information see: Mortality Over Regions and Time.
ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) 2008. National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing: Summary of Results, 2007. ABS cat. no. 4326.0. Canberra: ABS.
ABS 2018a. National Health Survey: First results 2017–18. ABS cat. no. 4364.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS.
ABS 2018b. Life Tables for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Australians, 2015–2017. ABS cat. no. 3302.0.55.003. Canberra: ABS.
ABS 2019. Microdata: National Health Survey, 2017–18, detailed microdata, DataLab. ABS cat no. 4324.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS. Findings based on AIHW analysis of ABS microdata.
Australian Health Ministers’ Advisory Council 2017. National Strategic Framework for Chronic Conditions. Canberra: Australian Government.
AIHW (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare) 2018 Cancer Data in Australia. Canberra: AIHW.
AIHW 2019a. Australian Burden of Disease Study: impact and causes of illness and death in Australia 2015. Australian Burden of Disease series no.19. Cat. no. BOD 22. Canberra: AIHW.
AIHW 2019b. Endometriosis in Australia: prevalence and hospitalisations. Cat. no. PHE 247. Canberra: AIHW
AIHW 2019c. Australia’s mothers and babies data visualisations. Cat. no. PER 101. Canberra: AIHW.
AIHW 2019d. Australia’s mother and babies 2017—in brief. Perinatal series no. 35. Cat. no. PER 100. Canberra: AIHW.
AIHW 2019e. Deaths in Australia. Cat. no. PHE 229. Canberra: AIHW.
AIHW 2019f. Mortality Over Regions and Time (MORT) books. Cat. no. PHE 229.
AIHW 2019g. Mental health services in Australia: in brief 2019. Cat.no. HSE 228. Canberra: AIHW.
Bywood PT, Raven M & Erny–Albrecht K 2015. Improving health in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mothers, babies and young children: a literature review. Adelaide: Primary Health Care Research & Information Service.
Kirby Institute 2018. HIV, viral hepatitis and sexually transmissible infections in Australia: annual Surveillance report 2018. Sydney: Kirby Institute.
Lawrence D, Johnson S, Hafekost J, Boterhoven De Haan K, Sawyer M, Ainley J, Zubrick SR (2015) The Mental Health of Children and Adolescents. Report on the second Australian Child and Adolescent Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing. Department of Health, Canberra
Morgan VA, Waterreus A, Carr V, Castle D, Cohen M & Harvey C et al 2011. People living with psychotic illness 2010. Report on the second Australian national survey. Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing: Canberra
OECD (Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development) 2019. Life expectancy at birth (indicator). doi: 10.1787/27e0fc9d-en. Viewed 4 September 2019.
Smith AM, Lyons A, Ferris JA, Richters J, Pitts MK, Shelley JM et al. 2012. Incidence and persistence/recurrence of women’s sexual difficulties: findings from the Australian Longitudinal Study of Health and Relationships. Journal of Sex and Martial Therapy 38(4): 378-39.
WHO (World Health Organization) 2015. State of inequality: reproductive, maternal, newborn and child health. Geneva: WHO. Viewed 3 November 2015.
WHO 2019a. Sexual and reproductive health: defining sexual health. Geneva: WHO. Viewed 11 July 2019.
WHO 2019b. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs): Key facts. Geneva: WHO. Viewed 25 March 2019.
We'd love to know any feedback that you have about the AIHW website, its contents or reports.
The browser you are using to browse this website is outdated and some features may not display properly or be accessible to you. Please use a more recent browser for the best user experience.