Life Expectancy Explained

The life-expectancy stat that’s so commonly used is not, in fact, meant to reflect our expectations for the future. We can’t know what medical breakthrough may come along to extend our lives or what plague may shorten them. Life-expectancy figures instead describe how long we’d live, hypothetically, if today’s death rates never changed.

But Danish scientist Kaare Christensen and his colleagues have calculated a different kind of projection, one that assumes longevity improvements will continue at their current pace. In that model, more than half the children in the developed world will be around for their 100th birthday.

Full article on a different kind of life expectancy projection.

Comments (7)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Ken says:

    Interesting. Especially in light of the previous post. Looks like we are going to get the ten years and everything is going to go to hell in a handbasket.

  2. hoads says:

    The goal is to reduce the hazards of old age thus, reducing government medical costs while pushing a “death with dignity” agenda where assisted suicide becomes the accepted social norm.

  3. Joe S. says:

    Question: Are the Social Security and Medicare Trustees projecting that half of today’s children will see their 100th birthday? Or do they use some other method?

  4. Devon Herrick says:

    Does Kaare Christensen also include in his calculations whether or not food will continue to fall in price at its previous level? Obesity-related diseases could put a serious dent in the projections for longevity.

  5. Andy Rettenmaier says:

    Social Security Actuaries do indeed take expected improvements in longevity into account. This is done based on the continuation of past trends.

    The Social Security Actuaries’ methodology is described in “Life Tables for the Social Security Area 1900-2100” and can be found at:

    Links to the estimates underlying the 2009 Trustees Report follow.

    Table V.A3 2009 Trustees Report – Period Life Expectancy

    Table V.A4 2009 Trustees Report – Cohort Life Expectancy

    The cohort life table referenced above indicates that the intermediate assumption life expectancy for males born in 2010 is 81.9 years and is 85.6 years for females.

  6. Larry says:

    I believe that this Danish scientist is an idealist and has no knowledge of reality.

    My feelings are . . . I live as long as I live and I die when I die. Death does not bother me since I have already done it once. Further, I know where I am headed after this life anyway. I’m going to Heaven; anyone not going my way is in for a very bad eternity.

  7. bobby burton says:

    NO to Obamacare