Life expectancy for Australians will climb to 95.1 years for men and 96.6 for women in 2054-55. This is according to the government’s ‘2015 Intergenerational Report’ released on 5 March.
Australia ties with five other nations for the longest life expectancy for men in the world, with a current life expectancy of 91.5 years. The life expectancy for Australian women may be higher, at 93.6 years, however it is only the seventh highest in the world.
According to a United Nations Population Fund report in 2012, Australia ties with Hong Kong, Iceland, Japan, Norway and Switzerland for the world’s longest life expectancy for men, while Australia’s women trail behind the likes of Japan, Italy, Spain and France.
By 2054-55, Australia is projected to have about 40,000 people over the age of 100. The government report indicates that just forty years ago (in 1974-75), there were only 122 centenarians.
Part of the reason for this could be that government has quadrupled their spending on aged care since 1975 and is expected to just about double it again by 2055.
In response to this longer-living population, the government has proposed raising the retirement age to the highest in the world (70), in order to deal with the costs. This would result in Australians born from 1966 onwards being expected to work until they are 70 before they can access their government retirement allowance.
IMAGE: Stock image via Shutterstock.com/Ruslan Guzov