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Life expectancy and mortality

Life expectancy

Life expectancy is often used to describe population health. It reflects the overall mortality level of a population. Life expectancy measures how long, on average, a person is expected to live based on current age and sex-specific death rates. It is often expressed as the number of years of life, from birth, a person is expected to live (AIHW 2020).

Closing the Gap in life expectancy within a generation, by 2031, is one of the targets in the National Agreement on Closing the Gap.

In 2015–2017, life expectancy at birth for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander females was 75.6 years and 71.6 years for males (Figure LM 1).


Among Indigenous Australians, life expectancy at birth generally decreased with increasing remoteness and socio-economic disadvantage.

In 2015–2017, the highest life expectancy at birth occurred in Major cities and in the least disadvantaged areas (Figure LM 2a and Figure LM 2b).