By Kate Hagan
United Nations figures show Australian women have the third-highest life expectancy in the world, at 84 years, and our men come in fourth, at 79 years.
Australia’s high life expectancy, which is set to continue its slow rise, is a measure that adds to our wellbeing on the Herald/Lateral Economics Wellbeing Index.
But the index’s authors felt life expectancy alone was inadequate in assessing people’s health over the course of their life.
They also counted as a positive the fact fewer people were being hospitalised for preventable conditions, such as those averted by vaccines or managed through changes in lifestyle, such as heart disease, asthma and diabetes.