CASS Professorial lecture: On living longer
Professor Booth explores reasons for why Australians are living longer and data on mortality trends. She also jests about referendums and surveys on raising the pension age.
On Living Longer
We live longer than ever before.
In Australia, life expectancy at birth in 2015 was 84.5 years for females and 80.4 years for males.
An international leader in longevity in the early part of the twentieth century, Australia lost ground mid-century but now ranks among the highest.
Changing age patterns of mortality and cause of death have contributed to this trend, notably through the cardiovascular revolution.
Recent gains in life expectancy largely stem from improved chances of survival in old age, spawning a renewal of interest among demographers and actuaries in how long we might in future live.
Improved methods of forecasting mortality provide increasingly accurate guidance and a better basis for business and public planning.
Further increases in life expectancy depend more and more on improved survival at older ages.
Though inequality in age at death is decreasing, inequalities based on indigeneity, socio-economic factors and geographic location persist.