AUSTRALIANS are living longer and longer, which is good news for everyone, except for funeral services.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and United Nations data, the average life expectancy in Australia has cracked the 82-year mark for the first time, reflecting record low death rates.
The nation’s life expectancy at birth rose by more than half a year in 2012 to exactly 82, ranking it third in the world behind Japan and Hong Kong.
ABS Director of Demography, Bjorn Jarvis, said “A boy born today could expect to live 79.9 years, while a girl could expect to live 84.3 years. For those approaching retirement age, say 65 years, males could expect to live a further 19 years and females a further 22 years.
These figures are consistent with a study released by the Global Burden of Disease Study which proved we were all going to die.
“Australia’s life expectancy at birth continues to be amongst the highest in the world. The combined male and female figure of 82.0 years, while a little lower than Japan and Hong Kong, is higher than Canada, New Zealand, the UK and the USA,” said Jarvis.
Between the states and territories the Australian Capital Territory had the highest life expectancy at birth with 81.2 years for males and 85.1 years for females. The lowest life expectancy was in the Northern Territory, at 74.7 years for males and 80.0 years for females.
While there were 147,098 deaths registered in Australia, the standardised death rate fell to 5.5 deaths per 1,000 people, the lowest rate ever recorded in Australia.
In 2002, the death rate was 6.8 deaths. This decrease over the last ten years was greater for males (around 2 deaths per 1,000 males) than for females (around 1 death per 1,000 females).
The infant mortality rate also reached a record low of 3.3 deaths per 1000 live births in 2012, down from 3.8 in 2011.