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Estimating Life Expectancy – Some New Data

Last update on: Feb 02 2017

You can’t do a retirement planning without an estimate of how long retirement will last. There’s no way, of course, to know how long you’ll live. But you can establish some probabilities. Interestingly there’s some new data on life expectancy and death rates as we age. For about a couple of centuries, statisticians believed death rates were fairly constant. About 4% of the people born in the same year pass away each year, regardless of how old they are. The new research shows that the death rate does increase after age 80, or maybe it doesn’t. You’ll have to read the article to see all the details. (Subscription might be required.)

Their findings have created a stir among demographers and others who study the very oldest people. Some hail the findings as offering important insight into how people age, and in explaining an unexpected slowdown in the rise in the ranks of American centenarians.

In 2004, the Census Bureau projected that there would be 114,000 people aged 100 or older by 2010 and 1.1 million centenarians by 2050. But the 2010 census counted just 53,364, a slender 5.8% increase from 2000. And now the Census Bureau is projecting there will be 592,000 Americans age 100 or older by 2050.

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