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Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Performance Framework - Summary report 2023

Life expectancy

In 2015–2017, life expectancy at birth was 71.6 years for Indigenous males and 75.6 years for Indigenous females. The gap between Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians was 8.6 years for males and 7.8 years for females (Table 4.1). These life expectancy estimates for Australia are adjusted for age-specific rates of Indigenous identification (‘age-adjusted’) (ABS 2018b).

Table 4.1: Life expectancy at birth (age-adjusted), by Indigenous status and sex, 2015–2017



Indigenous males


Non-Indigenous males


Difference in years


Indigenous females


Non-Indigenous females


Difference in years



Life expectancy decreases as remoteness increases for Indigenous Australians, but not for non-Indigenous Australians. Indigenous males and females living in Remote or Very remote areas have a life expectancy 6–7 years lower than those in Major cities (Figure 4.1).

Figure 4.1: Life expectancy at birth, by remoteness areas and sex, 2015–2017

Life expectancy at birth, Indigenous AustraliansLife expectancy at birth, non-Indigenous Australians


1. ‘Regional’ includes Inner regional and Outer regional areas, ‘Remote’ includes Remote and Very remote areas.

2. These estimates could not be age-adjusted, and so cannot be compared with estimates for Australia provided in Table 4.1.

Source: Measure 1.19, Table D1.19.3 – Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018.

Socioeconomic disadvantage

Socioeconomic disadvantage refers to the social and economic position of an individual or population group. Measures of socioeconomic disadvantage capture people’s access to material and social resources, and their ability to participate in society, based on factors like occupation, education, income, employment, housing, family characteristics, health, access to transport, or internet connection (ABS 2018a).

Indigenous Australians living in the lowest socioeconomic areas have a life expectancy (not age-adjusted) that is about four years lower than those living in the highest socioeconomic areas (Figure 4.2).

Figure 4.2: Life expectancy at birth, by socioeconomic area and sex, 2015–2017

Life expectancy at birth, by socioeconomic area

Note: Socieconomic area is based on the Index of Relative Socio-Economic Disadvantage (IRSD)

Source: Measure 1.19, Table D1.19.4 – Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018.

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