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Canadians are living longer than ever.

Babies born between 2005 and 2007 have a life expectancy of 80.7 years, according to new data from Statistics Canada. This is up considerably from the average 78.4 years for Canadians born in the mid-1990s.

"People are living longer in Canada," said Shiang Ying Dai, a senior Statscan analyst.

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Girls' life expectancy at birth is 83 years, while boys' is 78.3 years. While women still traditionally outlive men, males are catching up. Men's life expectancy rose by 2.9 years in the decade between the mid-1990s and the mid-2000s.

"In the past, the gaps were larger between men and women. Since men are gaining more over the years, the gap is narrowing," Ms. Dai said.

As well, the national statistics agency found that senior citizens are also living longer. A man who was 65 in the mid-2000s could expect to make it to his 83rd birthday, an increase of two years from the previous decade. On average, a 65-year-old woman will live to age 86.3, up by 1.3 years.

However, deaths are also rising, with the largest increase in 14 years. In 2007, 235,217 people died in Canada, up 3.1 per cent from 2006 and the largest increase since 1993.

"The number of deaths is always increasing because we have a larger and older population. So people are living longer but you have a larger cohort of 65 plus," Ms. Dai said.

In a release Tuesday, Statistics Canada said this continues "a long-term upward trend resulting from a growing and aging population."

As well, Canada's infant mortality rate also rose slightly, to 5.1 deaths per 1,000 live births in 2007, up from 5 deaths per 1,000 births a year earlier.

"It's not going down," Ms. Dai said. "It's not like it changes a lot over the years."

 

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