Nutritional factors contributing to disability and mortality are modifiable in later life. Indices would add utility. We developed a gender-specific Healthy Ageing Nutrition Index (HANI) for all-cause mortality in free-living elderly. We stratified 1898 participants aged ≥65 y from the 1999-2000 Nutrition and Health Survey in Taiwan by region and randomly allocated them into development and validation sets. Linkage to the National Death Registry database until December 31, 2008 enabled mortality prediction using Cox proportional-hazards models. Four factors (appetite, eating with others, dietary diversity score, and BMI) with best total of 25 HANI points for men; and 3 factors (cooking frequency, dietary diversity score, and BMI) with best total of 27 HANI points for women, were developed. In the validation set, the highest HANI group exhibited a greater intake of plant-derived food and associated nutrients, a favourable quality of life, and more muscle mass, compared with the lowest group. The highest HANI group predicts mortality risk lower by 44 percent in men and 61 percent in women. Adjusted mortality HRs were comparable between sets. HANI is a simple, non-invasive, inexpensive, and potentially modifiable tool for nutrition monitoring and survival prediction for older adults, superior to its individual components.