If you’re an Australian man, you’re better placed than any other male group in the world to reach a ripe old age.
This is according to new research by ANU. Pulling data from 15 countries with high life expectancies across Europe, North America and Asia, the study’s authors found that Aussie men live to an average of 74.1 years.
The four runner-up groups were men in Nordic and European countries, with Sweden a close second (74.0) followed by Switzerland (73.7).
The study also found that Australian women have the second-highest life expectancy in the world (78.8 years); Swiss women live an average 0.2 years longer.
“Popular belief has it that Japan and the Nordic countries are doing really well in terms of health, wellbeing and longevity. But Australia is right there,” said the study’s lead researcher Dr Colin Payne.
“The results have a lot to do with long term stability and the fact Australia’s had a high standard of living for a really, really long time. Simple things like having enough to eat, and not seeing a lot of major conflict play a part.”
The study introduced a new way of measuring life expectancy, grouping individuals who were born in the same year into cohorts, rather than assessing mortality rates of the population en masse.
In doing so, the researchers brought historical nuance and situational factors to bear on the data, so that they could compare groups who have “experienced similar conditions throughout their life”. These conditions could be war, disease or any other kind of socio-historical circumstance that has a non-negligible impact on mortality.
“For example, any Australian man who’s above age 74 we know with 100 per cent certainty has outlived half of his cohort – he’s an above average survivor compared to his peers born in the same year,” said Payne.
“And those figures are higher here than anywhere else that we’ve measured life expectancy.
“On the other hand, any man who’s died before age 74 is not living up to their cohort’s life expectancy.”
The research was published in the journal Population Studies.Do you have an idea for a story?
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