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Indicator 23: Life expectancy

Indicator 23: Life expectancy, by sex and ethnicity at birth, at age 60, and at age 80.
Indicator is fully reported?

Yes.

Type of indicator Outcome indicator Outcome indicator
Other relevant indicators New Zealand uses different age groupings - we report on life expectancy at birth, age 65 (pensionable age), and age 85.
Our findings

Life expectancy is an indicator of the overall health of a population. It is the estimated average number of years a person has left to live, based on age-specific death rates.

Statistics New Zealand produces life expectancy data (called "period life tables") about two years after each census and interim (abridged) period life tables between censuses.[1]

Figures 1-9 show life expectancy at birth, age 65, and age 85 (males and females) for the total population and Māori and non-Māori from 1955-57 to 2005-07.

Figure 10 shows the difference in life expectancy between Māori and non-Māori males and females at birth, age 65, and age 85 from 1950-52 to 2005-07. There is a break in the data, which shows the difference that changes in the source of ethnicity data and census questions/definitions can have on statistics.

Overall, Figures 1-10 show that:

  • life expectancy increased for males, females, Māori, and non-Māori, but at different rates;
  • in all years and most ages, non-Māori life expectancy was higher than Māori life expectancy; and
  • the gap between Māori and non-Māori for life expectancy at birth has narrowed since the 1950s.
How entities use the data Statistics New Zealand publishes the data for general use and for use by government departments, such as the Ministry of Health.
Entity responsible for this indicator Statistics New Zealand

Figure 1: Total population life expectancy at birth

Figure 1: Total population life expectancy at birth.

Figure 2: Total population life expectancy at age 65

Figure 2: Total population life expectancy at 65.

Figure 3: Total population life expectancy at age 85

>Figure 3: Total population life expectancy at 85.

Figure 4: Māori life expectancy at birth

Figure 4: Māori expectancy at birth.

Figure 5: Māori life expectancy at age 65

Figure 5: Māori life expectancy at 65.

Figure 6: Māori life expectancy at age 85

Figure 6: Māori life expectancy at 85.

Figure 7: Non-Māori life expectancy at birth

Figure 7: Non-Māori expectancy at birth.

Figure 8: Non-Māori life expectancy at age 65

Figure 8: Non-Māori life expectancy at 65.

Figure 9: Non-Māori life expectancy at age 85

Figure 9: Non-Māori life expectancy at 85.

Notes: Data rounded to one decimal place was used to prepare these graphs, but the values are shown rounded to the nearest whole number. The break between 1985-87 and 1995-97 indicates the introduction of new death registration forms in 1995.

Figure 10: Difference in life expectancy between Māori and non-Māori males and females at birth, age 65, and age 85, 1950-52 to 2005-07

Figure 10: Difference in life expectancy between Maori and non-Maori males and females at birth, age 65, and age 85, 1950-52 to 2005-07.


[1] www.stats.govt.nz/browse_for_stats/health/life_expectancy.aspx.

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