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The Globe and Mail

Canadians living longer than ever, Statscan finds

Canadians are living longer than ever, and the life expectancy gap between men and women continues to shrink.

Life expectancy at birth reached a new high of 80.9 years during the period from 2006 to 2008, up 0.2 years from 2005 to 2007, according to a new report from Statistics Canada.

Life expectancy is highest in British Columbia, where it now stands at 81.4 years. Ontario and Quebec were also above the national average, at 81.3 years and 81 years, respectively. The three territories combined have the lowest life expectancy at birth, at 75.2 years.

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The report also noted that while women continue to live longer than men, the gap between them is closing. Life expectancy is increasing for both men and women, but men are making more gains.

Men's life expectancy at birth bumped up to 78.5 years over the period from 2006 to 2008, up 0.2 years from 2005 to 2007. Life expectancy for women, meanwhile, increased 0.1 years to 83.1 years.

"While men generally have a lower life expectancy than women, the gains made in the previous 10 years have narrowed the gap," according to Statistics Canada. "During the 1996 to 1998 period, the gap in life expectancy at birth between men and women was 5.6 years, whereas in 2006-2008 it was 4.6 years."

Life expectancy for seniors is also increasing, according to the report. Life expectancy at 65 reached 20 years in the period from 2006 to 2008, up 0.2 years over the three years prior.

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