CASS Inaugural Professorial Lecture: On Living Longer

Presented by ANU College of Arts & Social Sciences

Please join us for the College of Arts and Social Sciences Inaugural Professorial Lecture Series. In this lecture, we welcome Professor Heather Booth from the ANU College of Arts and Social Sciences, School of Demography.

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.