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New Zealand life expectancy increases

Monday, 10 November 2008

New Zealand life expectancy increases

The life expectancy of New Zealanders continues to rise, Statistics New Zealand said today. Based on deaths in 2005–07, a newborn girl can expect to live 82.2 years and a newborn boy 78.0 years.

This is an increase of 1.0 years for females and 1.7 years for males since 2000–02. However, if death rates continue to fall in the future, a baby born now is likely to live longer than indicated by these latest life expectancies.

Over the last 30 years, life expectancy at birth has increased more for males than females. Females can expect to outlive males by 4.1 years based on deaths in 2005–07, down from the largest difference of 6.4 years in 1975–77.

Māori death rates are higher than non-Māori death rates at all ages. As a result, life expectancy at birth for females of Māori ethnicity was 75.1 years in 2005–07, compared with 83.0 years for non-Māori females. For males, life expectancy at birth was 70.4 years for Māori and 79.0 years for non-Māori. This is an average difference between Māori and non-Māori of 8.2 years in 2005–07, slightly less than the 8.5 years in 2000–02 and 9.1 years in 1995–97.

Life expectancies for other ethnic groups, such as the broad Asian and Pacific ethnic groups, are unavailable because of the relatively small size of these ethnic populations and relatively few death registrations. Geoff Bascand Government Statistician 10 November 2008


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