People are living for longer.

Life expectancy measures the length of time an average person of a specific gender and ethnicity is likely to live. Life expectancy is increasing over time due to medical advances and improvements in overall quality of life. 

Calculate your own life expectancy using Statistics New Zealand's life expectancy calculator(external link).

Topic Status Key findings
Life expectancy by sex Increasing trendIncreasingTrend

A baby born in 2013 has a life expectancy of 79.4 years if male and 83.1 years if female (a difference of 3.6 years).

By 2043, a newborn will have a life expectancy of 85.1 years if male and 88 years if female (a difference of 2.9 years). Further information.

Life expectancy by ethnic group Increasing trendIncreasingTrend

For females and males, those belonging to the Asian ethnic group have the longest life expectancy (88.1 years and 85.7 years respectively in 2018).

The difference in life expectancy between females and males within each ethnic group will decrease by 2038. Further information.

Life expectancy by sex

Historic and projected life expectancy(external link) in Christchurch closely mirror that of the whole of New Zealand. Life expectancy at birth has increased for both males and females over time, and the gap between the sexes has narrowed in recent years.

In 1996, a newborn boy in Christchurch could expect to live on average until 74.8 years, compared with 80.3 years for girls- a difference of 5.5 years.

By 2013 the difference had decreased to 3.6 years. For a newborn boy in 2013, average life expectancy was 79.4 years compared with 83.1 years for a girl. 

By 2043, Statistics New Zealand expects life expectancy for males to increase by 6 years (to 85.1 years), and females by 5 years (to 88 years). The gap is projected to be 2.9 years. 

Life expectancy by ethnicity

Life expectancy by ethnicity is only available at a national level.

People belonging to the Asian ethnic group have the highest life expectancy- a newborn boy in 2018 will live on average until 85.7 years, while newborn girl can expect to live to just over 88 years. By 2038, this ethnic group will still have the highest life expectancies. The gap between the sexes will slightly decrease from 2.4 years in 2018 to 2.3 years by 2038.

Maori males and Pacific males currently have the lowest life expectancies. Boys born in 2018 will live on average until around 76 years. Between 2018 and 2038, Maori males and Pacific males will have the greatest gains in life expectancy, increasing by 5.9 years and 5.5 years respectively. Maori females and Pacific females will also have gains greater than five years over the same time period.

Maori females and Pacific females' life expectancies are both expected to exceed European/Other males between 2023 and 2028.


Further information

Please email for further information.

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