New Zealand is an archipelago with three main islands: the North, South and Stewart Island. The indigenous Polynesian people of New Zealand, the Māori people, refer to the country as Aotearoa. With a population of approximately 5 million, Europeans make up the predominant ethnic group. The median age of the inhabitants is 38 years. Further, 86 percent of the population dwells in urban areas. Additionally, 90 percent of the population lives within 50 kilometers of the coastline. Here are 10 facts about life expectancy in New Zealand.
10 Facts About Life Expectancy in New Zealand
- Māori Life Expectancy: During 2013, the life expectancy of Māori males was 73 years and 77 years for Māori females. Life expectancy at birth of non-Māori males was 80 years and 84 years for non-Māori females.
- Māori Suicide Rates: Māori suicide rates were significantly higher than the rest of the population. Ages 15-24 years are the most likely to commit suicide. The suicide rate of males was twice as prevalent as for females.
- Cardiovascular Disease: One can attribute cardiovascular disease, cancer and injury to the highest mortality rates. The predominant causes of death are ischemic heart disease, lung cancer, colorectal cancer, cerebrovascular disease and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.
- Alcohol and Smoking: During 2016, 80 percent of the adult population reported alcohol use once or more a week. Additionally, 16.3 percent of New Zealanders are current smokers; however, approximately 19 percent of youth ages 18-24 smoke daily.
- Organizations Aiding Indigenous Peoples: The New Zealand Health Strategy, Māori Health Strategy and the Primary Health Care Strategy came to fruition in 2000. These strategies diminish and manage racial discrimination, ethnicity data protocols and mortality records.
- Crops: The crops traditionally eaten in New Zealand are sweet potatoes, taro and cabbage. For greens, the Māori also traditionally consume shoots and leaves.
- Work-Life Balance: Organizational commitments and supportive work environments improve work-life balance. In New Zealand, full-time workers devote 63 percent of their day to personal care and leisure.
- Fetal Deaths: During 2016, there was a fetal death rate of 6.8 per 1,000 total births and an infant death rate of 4 per 1,000 live births. Mortality rates are generally higher for males than females. Additionally, mortality rates for Māori were generally greater than for non-Māori.
- Public Health Care: A major contributor to these 10 facts about life expectancy in New Zealand is that the public health care system offers free hospital care to all permanent residents. Primary health organizations continue to provide subsidies to medical costs. Additional expenditures apply to non-residents.
- University Attendance: During 2018, there were 175,245 university students attending school with 49,400 post-graduate students. Over 44,000 students enroll and graduate from universities every year; 90 percent of which are at a bachelor’s degree level. More Māori reports indicate less schooling and higher levels of unemployment.
These 10 facts about life expectancy in New Zealand determine that occupation, income and education all directly correlate with health and life expectancy. Certain circumstances provide beneficial outcomes and better health than people living in poverty. Māori people continue to face worse health conditions than other ethnic groups. Further, racism and inequality are detrimental to wellbeing and life expectancy. However, mortality rates are beginning to improve throughout New Zealand. Socioeconomic factors still continue to play a prominent role in life expectancy.
– Zach Erlanger