Health Status of Canadians 2016: Report of the Chief Public Health Officer - How healthy are we? - Life expectancy at birth
How healthy are we?
Life expectancy at birth
In 2012, the average life expectancy at birth in Canada was estimated at 82 years.Footnote 1
Life expectancy at birth is the number of years a person is expected to live from birth onwards.Footnote 2 It is one measure of a nation's health and is affected by a variety of factors, such as genetics, lifestyle, diet, access to healthcare, education and income, and rates of diseases and conditions.Footnote 2-6
Over time, by sex
The average life expectancy at birth has increased since the early 1920s.Footnote 1,Footnote 7,Footnote 8 Women consistently have a higher life expectancy than men (see Figure 1).Footnote 1,Footnote 7,Footnote 8
In urban centres in 2005-2007, life expectancy at birth for Canadians tended to be higher for people living in high-income neighbourhoods (see Figure 2)Footnote 9.
Available data suggest that Indigenous populations have lower life expectancy at birth than non-Indigenous populations.Footnote 10 Projections for 2017 suggest this is especially true for Inuit.Footnote 11
In 2012, life expectancy at birth in G7 countries was highest in Japan at 80 years for men and 86 years for women and lowest in the United States at 78 years for men and 81 years for women. Canada ranked in the middle at 76 years for men and 84 years for women (see Figure 3)Footnote 12.
Notes to the reader
- Life expectancy is the number of years a person would be expected to live starting at birth if mortality rates stayed the same over his or her lifetime.Footnote 3
- Indigenous populations consist of First Nations, Métis and Inuit.
- G7 countries include seven of the world's industrialized countries, namely the United States, Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy and Canada, that form an informal discussion group and economic partnership.
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