The World Health Organisation statistics for Lao PDR for 2005 say the average life expectancy at birth for male/females is 59/61 years old. This is a stark differencce of 20 years when compared to Australia’s 79/84 years old but it wasn’t so long ago that Australians faced a similar life span. Australia’s life expectancy at birth from 1901-10 it was 55-59. In 1920-22 it was 59/63*. Australians lived as long as the people in Laos do now only two to three generations ago. My grandparents would have faced something even worse by being born in China during the 1910s.