This report presents information on life expectancy at birth and potentially avoidable deaths in Australia nationally and across Primary Health Network (PHN) areas. It also includes some results for smaller local areas.
Life expectancy information can be used as a broad measure of population health. Potentially avoidable deaths are deaths before the age of 75, which could have been avoided with current health care. This information can indicate how well health systems are performing.
Australia has the eighth highest life expectancy at birth in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries (OECD 2017).
In Australia, life expectancy at birth was 82.4 years in 2013–2015, up from 82.1 years in 2011–2013. The age-standardised rate of potentially avoidable deaths was 108 per 100,000 people in 2013–2015, down from 117 per 100,000 people in 2009–2011.
Similar to the national result, most PHN areas reported increases in life expectancy and decreases in potentially avoidable deaths over the same periods.
During 2013–2015, life expectancy in metropolitan PHN areas tended to be longer than in regional PHN areas. Conversely, the rate of potentially avoidable deaths was higher in regional PHN areas than in metropolitan PHN areas.
Across PHN areas in 2013–2015, Northern Sydney had the longest life expectancy at birth (85.5 years) and the lowest rate of potentially avoidable deaths (62 per 100,000 people), while the Northern Territory had the shortest life expectancy (77.0 years) and highest rate of potentially avoidable deaths (226 per 100,000 people).
In 2013–2015: Life expectancy at birth varied across Primary Health Network areas:
- Northern Sydney: 85.5 years
- Natiional rate: 82.4 years
- Northern Territory: 77.0 years
The rate of potentially avoidable deaths also varied across Primary Health Network areas:
- Northern Sydney: 62 per 100,000 people
- National rate: 108 per 100,000 people
- Northern Territory: 226 per 100,000 people