Life expectancy at birth of Indigenous Australians was 67.2 years for men and 72.9 years for women for 2005–2007, according to experimental figures released by the ABS.
The ABS reported that the life expectancy of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander men is 11.5 years lower than for non-Indigenous men, while life expectancy of Indigenous women is 9.7 years lower than for non-Indigenous women.
In releasing the data today, the ABS noted that the life expectancy estimates were derived using a new method which drew on information from the ABS Indigenous Mortality Quality Study conducted in 2006-07 as part of the Census Data Enhancement Project. The availability of that information considerably improved the quality and robustness of the estimates. Previously published Indigenous life expectancy estimates had been derived using methods based on a range of assumptions and those estimates were very sensitive to the assumptions made.
The ABS has warned that due to the considerable methodological changes, the current estimates should not be compared with the previously published 1996-2001 life expectancy estimates and the differences in the estimates should not be interpreted as changes in Indigenous life expectancy over time.
At the state/territory level, estimates could only be compiled for New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia and Northern Territory. Of these New South Wales had the highest life expectancy for Indigenous men (69.9 years) and women (75.0 years). The Northern Territory had the lowest life expectancy for Indigenous men (61.5 years) and women (69.2 years).