Life expectancy of Australian men is now the highest in the world

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By Universal-Sci

General life expectancy has risen dramatically over the last few centuries of human history. The key factors behind this rise have been better hygiene, the increased quality of food and the continuous improvement in medical sciences. Think of the invention of antibiotics for example.

Statics that are available for OECD member states show that an exponential increase in life expectancy has occurred between 1870 and 1940. For example, back in 1901, life expectancy at birth in the United States was about 49 years, while at at the end of that century it had risen to 77 years.

In recent years the increase in life expectancy has slowed down a bit. Between 2000 and 2015 life expectancy has risen by 5 years on average worldwide, according to the World Health Organization.

A recent study carried out by the Australian National University has shown that Australian men are now expected to live the longest out of all the groups of males around the world.

Average life expectancy has risen dramatically in the past few centuries - Image Credit:  Matthew Bennet via Unsplash

Average life expectancy has risen dramatically in the past few centuries - Image Credit: Matthew Bennet via Unsplash

One side-note to make to this study is that researchers used a different method of measuring life expectancy from what has been the norm up until now. This new method takes into account the historical mortality conditions that the the older generations of today have lived trough

Using this way of measuring, Australian men, on average, live to be 74.1. The logic behind using this new way of measuring is the ability to know with certainty if someone of a specific cohort reaches his or her life expectancy. For example, we can now be sure that an Australian male that has surpassed the age of 74.1 has outlived half of his cohort.

The reason behind the fact that Australian males score so wel using this new method of measurement, compared to other groups of males, is grounded in country specific historic conditions. Dr Collin Payne (co-leader of the study) stated that french males, for example, drop out because of the effects of the second world war, while Japanese males drop out because of the high mortality rates that hit Japan during the 1930's, 1940’s and 1950’s. As such, the long term stability that has graced Australia is the key factor behind these high rankings in life expectancy.

Moreover, not only Australian men do well using this new method of measuring, Australian women also get a very high score, coming in second to only their Swiss analogues.

If you’re interested and in the need for more details about this study, the research can be found online in the journal Population Studies

Sources and further reading: Australian National University, Tracking progress in mean longevity: The Lagged Cohort Life Expectancy (LCLE) approach, List of countries by life expectancy (old method of measurement), World Health Organization,

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