Life expectancy in Australia has reached record highs, but where you live has a huge influence on your longevity.
Research by the Public Health Information Development Unit at Torrens University flagged the suburbs and towns with the highest life expectancy and those with the lowest.
Ashburton in Melbourne’s southeast, as well as Unley and Parkside in Adelaide, had the highest median age at death of anywhere in Australia at 89.
But Melbourne’s CBD had the lowest of all cities at just 59.
Speaking to NCA NewsWire, Professor John Glover from the PHIDU said several factors came into play – from socio-economic status to the location of hospitals.
“In areas with high rates of road traffic accidents among young people, or suicides among young people (this) can skew the age younger,” he explained.
“Areas with an older population can increase the age.
“But there are other things like socio-economic factors which influence (life expectancy) and you can see that happening in many areas, both in the city and regional.”
Those living in Sydney’s leafy hills district or on the northern beaches can expect to celebrate more birthdays.
Residents in Castle Hill, Cherrybrook (east), Glenhaven, Cromer, Collaroy, Narrabeen, Gordon, Pymble and Killara have an average lifespan of 88 years.
This is compared to just 67 for Sydney’s CBD which includes Haymarket and The Rocks.
In Bondi, the average lifespan is 82 compared to 85 at Bondi Junction.
The data revealed a similar pattern in Melbourne.
Behind Ashburton are affluent suburbs like Brighton, Brighton East, Camberwell, Surrey Hills (West) and Canterbury at 88 years.
Professor Glover said road traffic accidents were likely to pull the average down, as well as homeless shelters, which are generally concentrated in the city.
“Many deaths get put down to Melbourne (CBD) because that’s where many people live in the parklands, shelters and supported accommodation,” he said.
Brisbane’s Centenary suburbs (east) have the highest life expectancy at 87. It’s the same for Chermside in the city’s north while Spring Lakes has the lowest average life expectancy at 57.
In Adelaide, a person’s lifespan is longest in a neighbouring group of suburbs including Colonel Light Gardens and Mitcham (87 years) to the affluent beachside pockets of Brighton and Glenelg (86 years).
Unley and Parkside have the highest median age of death of 89 years.
Professor Glover said these were areas of “high economic status, so people live longer because they’re more advantaged in socio-economic terms”.
The lifespan of Perth residents varies by 25 years depending on the suburb a person lives in.
Residents in Manning and Waterford after likely to live longer at 87 years. While the median age at death is just 62 for Forrestdale, Harrisdale and Piara Waters.
Acknowledging many measures of socio-economic disadvantage in Hobart, Bridgewater and Gagebrook have the lowest average lifespan (67 years) while the highest are in Mount Nelson, Sandy Bay and the South Hobart area (86 years).
The Top End had the poorest life expectancy figures of anywhere in Australia.
In Darwin’s bayside suburb of Casuarina, residents are likely to live the longest at 76, compared to 70 for those in the city centre.
Driver, Gray, Moulden and Woodroffe have the lowest median age at death, 62.
“The data in this release, whether it be median age at death or potential years of life lost, points to a huge variation across our cities and across regional Australia in premature mortality and concerns around socio-economic disadvantage,” Professor Glover said.
BEST AND WORST REGIONAL TOWNS
Highest – Driver, Gray, Moulden and Woodroffe at 86 years
Lowest – Mount Isa at 67 years
Highest – Mayfield, Warabrook, Waratah, North Lambton at 86 years
Lowest – Maryland, Fletcher, Minmi at 69 years
Highest – Yackandandah at 86.5 years
Lowest – French Island at 65 years
Highest – Nuriootpa and Tanunda at 86 years
Lowest – APY Lands at 53 years
Highest – Albany at 85 years
Lowest – Newman at 45 years
Highest – Alice Springs (town) at 66 years
Lowest – Alice Springs (remote) at 54 years
Highest – Newstead, Norwood, Youngtown, and Relbia at 85 years
Lowest – Quoiba, Spreyton at 69 years