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CSO statistical release, , 11am

Irish Life Tables


Age Males Females Gender Gap

Fig 1
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Irish Life Tables No. 16


Life expectancy continues to rise for both men and women

In the period 2010-2012, life expectancy at birth was 78.4 years for males and 82.8 years for females.  (See table above and tables 1, 2, 3 and fig.1).

• In the five years between 2006 and 2011 life expectancy increased by 1.6 years for males and 1.2 years for females.
• The gender gap now stands at 4.4 years, compared with the 4.8 years recorded in 2006.
• In 1926 male life expectancy was 57.4 years while it was slightly higher for females at 57.9 years.  This gender gap of 0.5 years continued to increase until 1986 when it stood at 5.7 years and has been decreasing gradually since.

In 2011, the highest life expectancy at birth for males among EU member states was reported in Sweden (79.9 years).  For females, France reported the highest life expectancy of 85.7 years.  (See table 4).
• In 2011, Irish male life expectancy ranked in joint 10th place with Germany while Irish female life expectancy ranked 17th.
• Females had a longer life expectancy than males across all EU member states.
• The largest difference in male and female life expectancies was in Lithuania at 11.2 years while the smallest was in the Netherlands at 3.7 years.
In 2011 in Ireland a 65 year old male could expect to live another 17.7 years, an increase of 1.1 years since 2006.  A 65 year old female could expect to live another 20.6 years, an increase of 0.8 years over the same period.  The highest life expectancy at this age for both sexes was reported in France at 19.3 years for males and 23.8 years for females.  (See tables 3, 4 and 5).

Significant improvements in life expectancy for both males and females over the past 85 years

Life expectancy at birth has increased significantly for both men and women since the first official life table was compiled in 1926. Over the 85 year period to 2011, male life expectancy increased by 21.0 years (36.6%), while female life expectancy increased by 24.9 years (43.0%). 

The improvements have been as a direct result of decreasing mortality rates, particularly infant mortality rates over the period. While there has been a continual increase in life expectancy for both males and females, with increases occurring between each set of life tables, the greatest rate of improvement occurred in the 20 year period between 1946 and 1966 (8.1 years for males and 10.5 years for females).  Strong gains have also been seen over the last 20 years with increases of 6.1 years for males and 4.9 years for females.  (See table 3).



The Life tables for the period 2010-2012 are based on a revised  methodology (Cubic Spline model).  A paper, giving the theoretical basis for this methodology, will be published by Kevin McCormack, Senior Statistician.  A link to this paper will be made available on the CSO website,, in due course.



NOTE: This is an amended version of the original release and contains minor revisions to tables 1 and 2.  These revisions (effective from 01 September, 2015) are due to errors in the compilation of tables for the release.  Tables were further updated on the 19\02\2016 due to changes in the calculation of the life expectancy at ages 99 years and above.