Living longer, but not better: life expectancy for Australians rises to 82.8 years

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Implications for Australia’s future aged care system – and its interface with the healthcare system.

The life expectancy for Australians born today is now 82.8 years according to the latest statistics from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW).

This is higher than the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) average of 80.7, and the 7th highest among all member countries.

Japan had the highest life expectancy at 84.2 years.

Australia’s life expectancy is currently only behind Japan, Switzerland, Spain, Italy, Iceland and Israel.

It wasn’t all good news however.

The same report showed Australia has the second-highest rate of obese men out of OECD countries (32%), only trailing the US, and the eighth highest proportion of obese women (29%).

The Heart Foundation’s risk assessment manager Natalie Raffoul said Australians living longer was good news, but more attention needs to be paid to health risk factors.

“We know that two in every three Australian adults (67.0%) are overweight or obese, and there are no signs that this trend is about to change.”