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Sunshine Coast and WA country and Perth women among longest life expectancy in the world.

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Minister for Ageing


3 July 2008

Sunshine Coast and WA Country and Perth Women among Longest Life Expectancy in the World

Australian women on Queensland’s Sunshine Coast, Western Australia’s agriculture belt south east of Perth and Perth have amongst the longest life expectancies in the world.

The Sunshine Coast has Australia’s longest life expectancy for women in Australia at 84.7 years and the Upper Great Southern Statistical Division (the agricultural area southeast of Perth) with an average of 84.6 years.

This is followed closely by Perth at 84.4 years, WA’s Midlands, north of Perth at 84.3 years and outer Adelaide at 84.2 years.

For men, Canberra and Melbourne tie for the longest life expectancy in Australia at 80 years.

Overall, as a jurisdiction, the Australian Capital Territory has the highest life expectancy in Australia for both men and women at 80 and 83.9 years, respectively.

Australian men reaching the age of 65 can now expect to live to about 83 years and women to about 86 years - about six more than their counterparts a century ago.

The Minister for Ageing, Mrs Justine Elliot today released the top 10 areas of Australia with the highest life expectancy for both men and women.

Mrs Elliot was drawing on new data compiled from recent ABS (Australian Bureau of Statistics) reports and the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare’s Australia’s Health 2008 report.

2004-2006 Data is by Statistical Division from the ABS* (It is likely to be higher with more recent data when it becomes available) Australian Women 1. Sunshine Coast 84.7

2. Upper Great Southern (WA) 84.6

3. Perth 84.4

4. Midlands (WA) 84.3

5. Outer Adelaide 84.2

6. Melbourne 84.1

6. South East (SA) 84.1

7. South West (WA) 84.0

8. Canberra and entire ACT 83.9

8. Sydney 83.9

8. Gold Coast 83.9

9. Western Australia (total) 83.8

10. Victoria (total) 83.7

Australian Men 1. Melbourne 80 years

1. Canberra and entire ACT 80

2. Perth 79.8

3. Sydney 79.7

4. Lower Great Southern (WA) 79.6

5. Sunshine Coast 79.4

5 South West (WA) 79.4

6 Victoria (total) 79.3

6.Brisbane 79.3

6. Gold Coast 79.3

7. Western Australia (total) 79.1

8. Outer Adelaide 79.0

9. Barwon 78.9

10. Darling Downs 78.8

Life Expectancy by Capital City Capital City Males years Females years

Perth 79.8 84.4

Melbourne 80.0 84.1

Sydney 79.7 83.9

Canberra 80.0 83.9

Brisbane 79.3 83.6

Adelaide 78.7 83.6

Greater Hobart 77.7 82.3

Darwin 76.1 81.8

AUSTRALIA 78.7 83.5

International comparisons

Overall, as a nation, Australia is second at 81.4 years - after Japan.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, using World Health Organization 2007 figures for selected countries, report that overall, Australian women are fifth in longevity at 83.7 years and Australian men (79 years) are second after Icelanders. (This year, Australian men - for the first time - passed Japanese men.)

Selected Countries Nation Female life expectancy

Japan 85.5

France 83.9

Switzerland 83.8

Italy 83.8

Australia 83.7

Spain 83.6

Sweden 83.0

Iceland 82.8

Canada 82.7

Norway 82.4

Singapore 82.3

New Zealand 81.9

United Kingdom 81.1

United States 80.4

Selected Countries Nation Male life expectancy

Iceland 79.2

Australia 79.0

Japan 78.7

Switzerland 78.7

Sweden 78.7

Singapore 78.2

Canada 78.0

Italy 77.9

Norway 77.5

New Zealand 77.5

Spain 76.9

France 76.8

United Kingdom 76.6

United States 75.3

Mrs Elliot said: “Australians are living longer because of advances in medicine and active lifestyles. - particularly baby boomers.

“We are now seeing baby boomers begin to retire; they are changing ageing in forever. They are healthy, active and want to live at home as long as possible.

“An ageing population creates so many opportunities; we can learn so much from the wisdom, knowledge and experience of older Australians,” Mrs Elliot said.

The Australian Government is responding to these challenges. Over the next four years, funding for aged and community care will reach record levels of more than $40 billion -- $28.6 billion on residential aged care alone and $11.4 billion on home care.

“No government in Australian history has spent more on aged care and community care than this one. We are proud of our plans for aged and community care,” Mrs Elliot said.

“This is about planning for Australia’s future and the challenges of the 21st century.

“We want to ensure that older Australians can live independent lives and age in their own homes, but also have the option to enter aged care homes if they need to.”

Currently, there are 2.8 million Australians aged 65 and over. Within 40 years the number of people aged over 65 will almost triple, from 2.8 million today to around 7.0million in 2047, or from around 13 per cent of the population today to over 25 per cent.

Currently, there are around 2,800 Australians aged 100 years or over and that is expected to increase to 78,000 by 2055.

However, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander life expectancy at birth is around 17 years less than for non-Indigenous Australians, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW)’s Australia’s Health 2008 has found.

In response, the Australian Government is investing $334.8 million towards closing the life expectancy gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians within a generation.

Media contact: (02) 6277 7280 or 0403 141 300