Australians have the second longest average lifespans of people anywhere in the world, a new report by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reveals.
According to the Australia’s Health 2008 report, the average Australian lives to the ripe old age of 81, an effort surpassed only by the long-living Japanese.
Australian women who reach the age of 65 can now expect to live to about 86 years, three years longer than the average man.
The relatively low number of Australians who smoke – one of the lowest rates in the world – is a big factor in our health levels, as are falling death rates for cancer, heart disease, stroke and injury.
Migrants to Australia tend to enjoy better than average health than the Australian-born population, often with lower average rates of death, hospitalisation, disability and disease.
Indigenous people and those living in remote and regional areas tend to have poorer than average health, however, with higher levels of illness and disability. Despite improvements in indigenous death rates, the overall gap between indigenous and non-indigenous people appears to be widening, the report says.