Friday, May 11, 2018

The Projected Improvement in Life Expectancy

by Bill McBride on 5/11/2018 04:07:00 PM

Here is something different, but it is important when looking at demographics ...

The following data is from the CDC United States Life Tables, 2014 by Elizabeth Arias.

In 2014, the overall expectation of life at birth was 78.9 years, a 0.1-year increase from 2013. Between 2013 and 2014, life expectancy at birth increased by 0.1 year for both males (76.4 to 76.5) and females (81.2 to 81.3) and for the black (75.5 to 75.6) and white (79.0 to 79.1) populations. Life expectancy at birth increased by 0.2 years for the Hispanic (81.9 to 82.1) and non-Hispanic black (75.1 to 75.3) populations. Life expectancy at birth remained unchanged for the non-Hispanic white population (78.8).
...
[The following] summarizes the number of survivors out of 100,000 persons born alive by age, race, Hispanic origin, and sex for 2014. ... In 2014, 99.4% of all infants born in the United States survived the first year of life. In contrast, only 87.6% of infants born in 1900 survived the first year. Of the 2014 period life table cohort, 58.1% survived to age 80 and 2.1% survived to age 100. In 1900, 13.5% of the life table cohort survived to age 80 and only 0.03% survived to age 100
emphasis added
Instead of look at life expectancy, here is a graph of survivors out of 100,000 born alive, by age for three groups: those born in 1900-1902, born in 1949-1951 (baby boomers), and born in 2014.

Survivors Click on graph for larger image.

There was a dramatic change between those born in 1900 (blue) and those born mid-century (orange). The risk of infant and early childhood deaths dropped sharply, and the risk of death in the prime working years also declined significantly.

The CDC is projecting further improvement for childhood and prime working age for those born in 2014, but they are also projecting that people will live longer.

Death by AgeThe second graph uses the same data but looks at the number of people who die before a certain age, but after the previous age. As an example, for those born in 1900 (blue), 12,448 of the 100,000 born alive died before age 1, and another 5,748 died between age 1 and age 5.

The peak age for deaths didn't change much for those born in 1900 and 1950 (between 76 and 80, but many more people born in 1950 will make it).

Now the CDC is projection the peak age for deaths - for those born in 2014 - will increase to 86 to 90!  Using these stats - for those born this year (in 2018) - more than two-thirds will make it to the next century.

Also the number of deaths for those younger than 20 will be very small (down to mostly accidents, guns, and drugs).  Self-driving cars might reduce the accident components of young deaths.

An amazing statistic: for those born in 1900, about 13 out of 100,000 made it to 100.  For those born in 1950, 199 are projected to make to 100 - a significant increase.   Now the CDC is projecting that 2,111 out of 100,000 born in 2014 will make it to 100.  Stunning!

Some people look at this data and worry about supporting all these old people.  To me, this is all great news - the vast majority of people can look forward to a long life - with fewer people dying in childhood or during their prime working years.