Journal of the Australian Population Association

, Volume 14, Issue 2, pp 187–200 | Cite as

Changing sex differences in life expectancy in Australia between 1970 and 1990

  • Frank Trovato
  • N. M. Lalu


Between 1970 and 1990, Australia experienced a narrowing of its sex difference in life expectancy by just over one year, which is a substantial amount when compared to the experience of other industrialized nations. Most of this reduction materialized in the decade between 1980 and 1990. In this study we decompose the gender based survival difference in 1970, 1980 and 1990 into components that can be attributed to different causes of death. Our analysis indicates that a significant component of the constriction in the differential was due to males having made larger gains than females over time with respect to heart disease, accidents and violence excluding suicide, and lung cancer. A large part of the narrowing in female-male difference in life expectancy can be attributed to narrowing sex differences in mortality in the older ages. We discuss these findings in the context of emerging epidemiological trends in the industrialized world, and the implications these have for the future of the sex differential in survival.


Life Expectancy Life Table Circulatory Disease Female Advantage Standard Life Table 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Frank Trovato
    • 1
  • N. M. Lalu
    • 1
  1. 1.Population Research Laboratory, Department of SociologyThe University of AlbertaEdmontonCanada

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