If You Want to Live Longer Move to Nelson


The median lifespan of people who died in 2019 was about 13 years longer than for those who died in the 1940s, Stats NZ said this week.

“Even in the past 20 years, the median lifespans for both men and women have increased by a couple of years,” says the organisation’s population indicators manager Tehseen Islam.

Median life expectancy

  • 78 years for males, up from 75 in 1999 and 67 in 1949
  • 83 years for females, up from 81 in 1999 and 69 in 1949
  • 80.5 years for all people, up from 77 in 1999 and 68 in 1949

For people who died between 2017 and 2019, the median lifespans for both males and females were slightly longer for those who died in the South Island compared with the North Island.

South Island males had a median lifespan of 79 years, compared with 78 years for North Island males. Likewise, South Island females had a median lifespan of 84 years, compared with 83 years for North Island females.

Males and females who passed away in the Nelson region had the highest median lifespan (81 and 86 years, respectively).

Other regions, where both males and females had higher median lifespans than for all of New Zealand, included Marlborough, Otago, Canterbury, Taranaki, and Wellington. Note that this is based on where the person lived when they died and does not necessarily reflect where they spent most of their life.

Data from the abridged period life tables shows that life expectancy at birth is 80 years for males, and 83.5 years for females.