MHLU - Health Status Resource

Life Expectancy

Life Expectancy

Key Findings: 

Life expectancy is a marker of a population’s overall health and is sensitive to improvements in prevention and treatment as well as the underlying social determinants of health such as education and income. As life expectancy increases, the number of people living with chronic diseases tends to also increase because chronic diseases are more common among older persons. It is important to keep in mind that while life expectancy indicates the number of years that an individual is expected to live, it does not specifically identify anything about the potential quality of those years.

Middlesex-London residents can expect to live on average 81.5 years at birth and 20.4 more years at age 65. Females will live longer than men at both ages. Life expectancy was slightly lower in Middlesex-London than it was overall for Ontario, however life expectancy continued to improve for both and females and males in Middlesex-London, while it appears to have levelled-off for Ontario. The change in Ontario, seems to follow a similar pattern to Canada overall, where the lack of improvement in life expectancy at birth is attributed to the opioid crisis.1

Life Expectancy at birth Life Expectancy at age 65

Life Expectancy at birth

Middlesex-London residents can expect to live on average 81.5 years at birth (Figure 3.2.1).

Life expectancy at birth was 4.6 years more for females (83.9 years) compared to males (79.3 years) (Figure 3.2.1).

Life expectancy at birth for Middlesex-London residents was one year lower than for Ontario (82.5 years) and similar to the Peer Group (81.3) (Figure 3.2.1).

Life expectancy at birth for Middlesex-London residents was slightly higher in 2013 – 2015 compared to estimates for Middlesex-London residents from 2005 to 2007 when it was 81.2 years (data not shown).

Life expectancy for Middlesex-London residents continued to increase in 2013-15, with females living significantly longer than males. This improvement is also reflected in more recent Statistics Canada analysis which indicated that Middlesex-London’s life expectancy at birth continued to increase from 82.1 in 2014-16 to 82.3 in 2015-17. 2 However, this is contrary to the pattern in Canada and Ontario. In Canada, from 2016 to 2017 life expectancy did not increase for females or males, a first in over four decades. Statistics Canada identified that this was largely attributable to the opioid crisis affecting younger and middle age groups. 1 Using Statistics Canada’s data and methods, Ontario’s life expectancy also did not change from its 2014-16 annual average of 82.6 years in 2015-17.2

Life Expectancy at age 65

Middlesex-London residents that live to age 65, can expect to live on average of 20.4 more years (Figure 3.2.2).

Life expectancy at age 65 was significantly longer for females (22.0 years) compared with males (18.9 years) (Figure 3.2.2).

Life expectancy at age 65 was slightly lower than for Ontario (21.0 years) and similar to the Peer Group (20.3 years) (Figure 3.2.2).

Both male and female residents at age 65 in Middlesex-London made small gains in life expectancy from 2005-07, when it was 20.2 years for both sexes combined (data not shown).

A higher life expectancy at age 65 is considered an indicator of better overall health of the older population. Life expectancy measures quantity rather than quality of life. Unlike live expectancy at birth, which did not increase in recent years in Canada and Ontario, life expectancy at age 65 continued to incrementally improve for both males and females in Ontario and Canada up to 2015-17.2 This improvement may correspond to improvements in prevention and treatment of chronic diseases that typically affect people in later life.

Interpretive Notes

Years of life expectancy are based on life tables containing mortality rates specific to sex and age groups for Middlesex-London from 2013 to 2015. The resulting life expectancies are averages which are assumed to hold true for as long as the mortality picture for that time period remains the same.

How this Indicator was Calculated: 
Ontario Public Health Standard: 

Population Health Assessment and Surveillance Protocol, 2018 

Ontario Public Health Standards: Requirement for Programs, Services, and Accountability - Transparency and Demonstrating Impact (Figure 6, page 73) 


1.  Statistics Canada. Changes in life expectancy by selected causes of death, 2017. Dly Stat Can [Internet]. 2019 May 30 [cited 2019 Jun 6]:[6 p.]. Available from:

2.  Statistics Canada [Internet]. Ottawa (ON): Statistics Canada; [modified 2019 Jun 7]. Table 13-10-0389-01 Life expectancy, at birth and at age 65, by sex, three-year average, Canada, provinces, territories, health regions and peer groups; [modified 2019 Jun 7; cited 2019 Jun 7] Available from:

3.  CIHI’s Indicator Library [Internet]. Ottawa (ON): Canadian Institute for Health Information. 1996 -. [Part], Life expectancy at age 65; [cited 2019 Jun 7]; [about 1 screen]. Available from:

Last modified on: June 21, 2019

Jargon Explained

Life expectancy at birth
is the average length of time that an individual will live if subjected to the mortality experience for the specified population and time period.

Life expectancy at age 65
is the average number of years that a person at that age can be expected to live, assuming that age-specific mortality levels remain constant.