Monday, November 10, 2008

Life Expectancy in New Zealand Rises

Source: Statistics New Zealand

The average life expectancy for a new born girl in New Zealand has risen to 82.2 years, while that for a new born boy has increased to 78 years. The increase since 2002 is larger for males, 1.7 years, than for females at 1.0 years. Statistics New Zealand's press release here.

On average, women can expect to outlive men by 4.1 years, a narrowing of the gap from its largest difference of 6.4 years in 1975-77.

New Zealanders' life expectancy rates are slightly below the OECD median of 82.3 years for females and somewhat above the OECD median of 77.2 years for males.

Two-thirds of the improved life expectancy is the result of a decline in death rates of those near the end of their work careers or in retirement (60-84 years). This trend is also apparent in longer term longevity improvements over the past thirty years (1975-2007).

Source: Statistics New Zealand

The Maori life expectancy remains lower than non-Maori by about 8.2 years, but the difference has narrowed over the past decade from a gap of 9.1 years in 1995/97.

Life expectancy for Maori females was 75.1 years and 70.4 years for Maori males in 2005-2007.

Source: Statistics New Zealand

Higher rates of diabetes and smoking among Maori compared to non-Maori, and socio-economic factors, account for some of the lower life expectancy of Maori. Cause-of-death statistics show Maori have a six times higher rate of death from diabetes while the 2006 Census recorded that 42 percent of Maori over the age of 15 are regular smokers compared with an 18 percent rate for Non-Maori.

Maori infant mortality rates in the first year of life are 1.6 times higher than those for non-Maori.

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