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Aust men cross 80-year mark for first time

Aust men cross 80-year mark for first time
Photo: Aust men cross 80-year mark for first time
The life expectancy of Australian men is longer than ever before, but they still lag behind women, statistics show.

Australian men are living longer, with life expectancy for males crossing the 80-year mark for the first time.

But they still haven't caught up with women, who can expect to live four years longer than them.

Life expectancy for men rose to 80.1 in 2013 from 79.9 in 2012, while female life expectancy at birth remained steady at 84.3 years, the Australian Bureau of Statistics says.

"We're now among a very rare group of countries - the others being Switzerland, Japan and Iceland - where both men and women have a life expectancy of over 80 years," director of demography Denise Carlton said.

Australian women pushed past the 80-year mark in 1990.

"It's taken men nearly a quarter-century to catch up," Ms Carlton said.

"But having crossed the elusive 80-year threshold in the 1990s, improvements in expected lifespan for women have since slowed down."

Last year, the ACT had the highest life expectancy for men and women, while the Northern Territory had the lowest.

Copyright AAP 2014.

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