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Life is short - but getting longer

New Zealanders have a little more time to complete their “bucket lists" according to data released 22 February 2010 by Statistics New Zealand. On average, females and males born in the last year can tack an extra 0.2 years onto their life expectancy compared with those born in 2006-08, the data show. Based on 2007-09 mortality rates, a girl born today can expect to live, on average, 82.4 years while a boy might reach 78.4 years. "Life expectancy for women is still higher than it is for men, but the gap has narrowed from more than six years in 1975–77 to four years in 2007–09," Population Statistics manager Denise McGregor says. Men are dying younger than women but their longevity has increased more dramatically since the late 1970s. "Since 1975–77, life expectancy at birth has increased by 6.9 years for females and 9.4 years for males," says Mrs McGregor.

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