We’re still dying earlier than big city residents
REGIONAL Australians continue to live shorter lives than capital city residents - and the gap isn't closing.
New Australian Bureau of Statistics data reveals the life expectancy gap is widening between Brisbane residents and those living in Mackay, central Queensland, the Wide Bay, the Sunshine Coast, Toowoomba, Ipswich, the Darling Downs, Lismore and Grafton.
The data reinforces findings from Australian Regional Media's pre-election Fair Go campaign earlier this year that highlighted clear gaps in health, education and employment between metropolitan and regional centres.
According to the fresh ABS stats, babies born in Brisbane's west and the Sydney suburb of Ryde can expect to live to, on average, 85.4 years old while the national life expectancy is 82.4.
Mackay, with a life expectancy of 82.5 years; the Sunshine Coast on 83.2; and Toowoomba on 82.7 are the only ARM publication regions with life expectancies above the national average.
Rockhampton and Gladstone are sitting on 82 years while Fraser Coast, Bundaberg and Gympie have life expectancies of just 80.7.
Ipswich babies can expect to reach 81 years old, Grafton's life expectancy is 80.7, Lismore's is 81. 3 years and Warwick's is 80.8 years.
Brisbane residents' average life expectancy for 2015 was listed as 85.4, a big jump from 84.7 years in the survey before.
That growth in longevity outstripped all the regional areas in ARM's footprint and means the statistics are getting worse for regional dwellers.
- ARM NEWSDESK
BY THE NUMBERS
|Region||Life expectancy in years|
Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics.