Life expectancy

Life expectancy for older Australians is increasing, with people expecting to live longer and with more years free of disability [1].

In 2014–2016, Australian men aged 65 could expect to live for another 19.6 years, and women another 22.3 years [3] (Figure 1). This is an increase of more than 8 years for men and 10 years for women since the turn of the century.

Disability

Improvements in life expectancy are often considered alongside disability: increases in life expectancy hopefully accompany an increase in the number of healthy years people live.

AIHW analysis of the 2015 Survey of Disability, Ageing and Carers (SDAC) indicates that, at age 65:

  • men could expect to live an additional 9 years disability free (47% of their total average remaining life expectancy)
  • women could expect to live an additional 10 years disability free (45% of their total average remaining life expectancy)
  • compared with 2003, men could expect to live an additional 1.6 years of disability-free life
  • compared with 2003, women could expect to live an additional 1.2 years of disability-free life (Figure 2).

There have also been changes in the expected years of life with a severe or profound core activity limitation, for both men and women. Men aged 65 in 2015 could expect to live an additional 3.4 years with a severe or profound core activity limitation, and women an additional 5.6 years, compared with 3.3 years for men and 6.2 years for women in 2003 (Figure 2).

The expected years of life with disability, but no severe or profound core activity limitation, has increased slightly for men and women between the 2003 and 2015 analysis (Figure 2).

References

  1. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) 2017. Life expectancy and disability in Australia: expected years living with and without disability. Cat. no. DIS 66. Canberra: AIHW.
  2. AIHW 2016. Life expectancy. Canberra: AIHW. Viewed April 2016.
  3. Australian Bureau of Statistics 2017. Life tables, States, Territories and Australia, 2014–16. Cat. No. 3302.0.55.001. Canberra: ABS.