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Life expectancy on the up

24 January 2013

Life expectancy on the up

In 1951 just 13% of girls born were expected to reach their 100th birthday but among those born this year, 40% are expected to see 2113.  If these trends continue, the majority of girls born in 2060 will reach their centenary.

Life expectancy for boys is still shorter but is catching up, especially in wealthier parts of the country.

Professor Appleby, chief economist at the King’s Fund, warned that while life expectancy is increasing it may not be a healthier old age and there may be a “scrabble for resources.”

He said, “Living longer is a good thing but not much fun if those extra years are lived in pain and discomfort.  How healthy humans will be in the future is an open question, but historically at least … previous gains in health life expectancy have more to do with reductions in mortality than reductions in years lived in disability.”

So, what will happen in the future?  What will happen to the world’s population?

Some believe that this increase in longevity will not be an issue as the growth in world population is slowing but many believe this will cause problems in the future.  There will be fewer people of working age to support the ever growing number of people in retirement.