- Health expectancy at birth increased steadily for all females between 1996 and 2013, from 66.4 years to 66.5 years.
- Health expectancy for all males increased over the same period, from 63.8 years to 65.2 years, closing the gender gap most rapidly between 2006 and 2013.
- Changes in health expectancy occur over long timeframes.
Note: This graph is interactive. Hover over the data points to see the exact values. Click legend text to hide or show variables.
View source data
The source data for this indicator is available from Independent Life Expectancy in New Zealand 2013 on the Ministry of Health website.
Definition and measure
Health expectancy is an estimate of the average number of years a person will live without requiring assistance with everyday activities. A good standard of health contributes to quality of life and enables people to participate in society and the economy.
Health expectancy is measured by independent life expectancy at birth. This is defined as the 'expectation of life without the need for assistance from another person or a complex assistive device (whether daily or intermittently)'.
Independent life expectancy is a summary measure of the population’s health as it combines both mortality and morbidity.
Technical changes since 2010
The health expectancy indicator uses data which differs slightly from previously published estimates. Statistics New Zealand is now using new population weights to make the data more comparable across years. The 1996 data also include residential cases that have been left out in previous estimates.
Key findings on New Zealand's progress using a sustainable development approach: 2010
Measuring New Zealand's progress using a sustainable development approach: 2008
Key findings on New Zealand's progress using a sustainable development approach: 2008
Page updated December 2015