Tuesday, May 31, 2005


The most striking indicator of disparate nature of life along the Indigenous/non–Indigenous divide in Australia is the average life expectancy one has at birth. A male child born between 1997–1999 in Australia could expect to live about 76.3 years*. In 1999–2001 this male child could expect to live about 77 years.

If this child was Indigenous, then in 1997–1999, he had a life expectancy of only 55.6 years. By 1999–2001 this had increased to 56.3 years.

This is a difference of over twenty years in life expectancy, solely attributable to a person's Indigenous status.

Because I am not Indigenous, I am likely to live twenty years longer than someone who is.

I guess that this not new to most people, but I find it the most simple indicator of the problem here in Australia. I find it an incredibly stunning statistic — just so fundamental.

JWH admitted yesterday that the differences between Indigenous and non–indigenous health outcomes in Australia is:
“unacceptable, indeed quite appalling”

We agree on one thing, then. But what has he done about it in the 8 years he has been Prime Minister? I can't find anything.

* The years I have chosen here are ones that are fully comparable across both categories. Numbers are available from the Report on Government Services, and the difference in life expectancy is about the same for women.


At 11:23 AM, Anonymous Ross said...

It is disgusting, absolutely disgusting. What's worse is that a lot of Australians probably don't realise how bad the problem is.


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