Life expectancy increases

Embargoed until 10:45am  –  22 February 2010
See also:
Births and Deaths: December 2009 quarter  –  for more data and analysis

Births and Deaths: December 2009 quarter  –  Media Release

New Zealand's life expectancy at birth has increased by 0.2 years for both males and females since 2006–08, Statistics New Zealand said today. A baby girl can expect to live, on average, 82.4 years and a baby boy 78.4 years, based on mortality rates experienced in 2007–09. The latest life expectancy figures are included in the abridged period life table for 2007–09.

"Life expectancy for women is still higher than it is for men, but the gap has narrowed from more than six years in 1975–77 to four years in 2007–09," Population Statistics manager Denise McGregor said. "Since 1975–77, life expectancy at birth has increased by 6.9 years for females and 9.4 years for males," Mrs McGregor said. 

Abridged life tables are produced annually using deaths registered over a three-year period. They provide a range of mortality measures, including life expectancy, for age groups at the national level.

Statistics from birth and death registrations released today indicate that:

  • in the first decade of the new millennium there were more than half a million (588,500) live births in New Zealand
  • there were 62,540 live births registered in New Zealand in the December 2009 year, down from 64,340 in 2008
  • the birth rate was 2.1 births per woman in 2009, down from 2.2 in 2008
  • deaths registered in 2009 totalled 28,960, down slightly from 29,190 in 2008. 
 Vince Galvin 22 February 2010
 Acting Government Statistician

END

For media enquiries contact:

Anne Howard
Christchurch 03 964 8700
Email: demography@stats.govt.nz