Covid-19: ABS data reveals life expectancy increasing in Australia

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Australia was one of just a handful of countries which experienced a boost in life expectancy during the first two years of the Covid-19 pandemic, Australia Bureau of Statistics data has revealed.

We now have the third-highest life expectancy in the world, according to the United Nations’ estimates.

Only Monaco and Japan have higher life expectancies than Australia, with our males ranked second and females ranked fifth in the world.

However, provisional mortality statistics released for this year show an increase in the death rate compared to the past five years, although it will not be reflected in the data until November 2023, the ABS said.
A boy born today is expected to live to 81.3 years, while a girl is expected to live to 85.4 years. ABS demography director Emily Walter said this was an increase of 0.1 years compared to the 2018-2020 period.

“Life expectancy in Australia is 11.9 years longer for males and 10.6 years longer for females compared with the United Nations’ 2020 world average of 69.4 years and 74.8 years,” Ms Walter said.

A 65-year-old Australian male could expect to live another 20.3 years, while a female was expected to live a further 23.0 years.

The ACT had the highest life expectancy at 82.7 years for males and 86.3 years for females.

The Northern Territory had the lowest at 76.3 years for males and 81.0 years for females.

However, life expectancy in the Top End actually showed the largest gains of all jurisdictions over the past 30 years.

Data also revealed more than 100,000 people had moved to Queensland from other jurisdictions in the five years before the 2021 census.

Tasmania had a net gain of more than 15,000 people, while the ACT had more than 10,000.

NSW had the largest net loss with more than 102,000 people leaving the state, while just under 10,000 people left Victoria.

Census program manager Mark Harding said 53 per cent of the population did not change where they live in the past five years.

“Of those who did move, the majority (87 per cent) moved within the same state. Only one in 10 moved to a different state,” he said.

“The median age of people who moved within Australia between 2016 and 2021 was 33 years old, and they were more likely to rent than non-movers.

“Conversely, the median age of non-movers was 49 years old, and they were more likely to own their house outright or have a mortgage.

“This data suggests people are moving for housing suitability and affordability, as well as employment opportunities and then settling down later in life.”

Data also revealed 160,100 people moved from Australia’s capital cities. This was a much greater loss than in 2016, when 43,000 people moved away, and in 2011, when 72,200 people made the switch.

Originally published as ABS data reveals Aussies bucked major Covid-19 pandemic trend


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