Women live 2.6 years longer than men (85.3 to 82.7 years), on average, and are in good health for almost two more years (79.8 to 77.9 years). Life expectancy at birth is defined as how long, on average, a newborn can expect to live, if current mortality rates do not change. However, the actual age-specific mortality rate for any particular birth cohort cannot be known in advance. If rates are falling, real life expectancy will be higher than life expectancy calculated using current mortality rates.
Life expectancy at birth is one of the most commonly used indicators of health status. The increase in life expectancy at birth can be attributed to a number of factors, including an increase in the standard of living, improved lifestyle and education, and greater access to quality health services. This indicator is presented as a total and by gender and is measured in years. Compared to mortality and morbidity rates, HLE is a more intuitive and meaningful measure of population health that people can identify with, since people are very concerned about living long and healthy lives.