Life expectancy rises for both males and females

By Steve Neville

Life expectancy for both males and females increased in 2016, according to new statistics.

The Central Statistics Office revealed that life expectancy at birth for males increased by 1.2 years to 79.6 years.

For females, life expectancy increased by 0.6 years to 83.4 between 2011 and 2016.

Life expectancy at age 65 in Ireland in 2016 was 18.3 years for men, a rise of 0.6 years since 2011, and was 21.0 years for women, an increase of 0.4 years over the same time period.

The CSO also found that the gap between male and female lie expectancy has continued to decrease.

In 1991 the gap was 5.6 years, but that figure fell to 3.8 years in 2016.

The CSO has found that there has been “significant improvements” in life expectancy over the last 90 years.

“Life expectancy at birth has increased significantly for both men and women since the first official life table was compiled for 1926,” the CSO said in a statement.

“During the 90 years up to 2016, male life expectancy rose by 22.2 years, (+38.7%), while female life expectancy gained an extra 25.5 years, (+44.0%).

“Life expectancy at age 65 has also risen strongly between 1926 and 2016. Life expectancy for men at age 65 was 12.8 years in 1926 but by 2016 it had increased 5.5 years to 18.3 years.

“For women, life expectancy at age 65 rose from 13.4 years to 21.0 years over the same time period, a gain of 7.6 years.” 

The CSO said the improvements “have been as a direct result of decreasing mortality rates, particularly infant mortality rates over the period”.

They added that the “greatest rate of improvement, at birth, occurred in the 20 year period between 1941 and 1961”.  


Male life expectancy at birth in Ireland ranks as the 8th highest in the EU.

At 79.6 years, it is about the EU average of 78.2 years.

For females, however, life expectancy at birth in Ireland is “slightly below” the EU average.

The figure of 83.4 years ranks as the 15h highest in the EU. The EU average is 83.7 years.

The largest gender gap in life expectancy was in Lithuania at 10.6 years, while the smallest was in the Netherlands at 3.2 years.   

The CSO found that Malta had the highest life expectancy at this age for males, at 19.7 years for men while France had the highest life expectancy for females, at 23.7 years for women at age 65. 

Most Read in Ireland