Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

More people are living beyond 100

The ONS has found most men are living until they are 85, and women to 89

The number of people in England and Wales living to beyond 100 is increasing and there is no upper age limit in sight, a report has found.

Most people are also living for longer, surviving for six years beyond life expectancy projections, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said.

A baby boy born in 2010 is expected to live until the age of 79, while a girl should live to 83. But in analysing the age at which death is most common, the ONS has found most men are living until they are 85, and women to 89.

There is also a rise in the number of centenarians and even super-centenarians - those living to the grand old age of 110.

Previous studies have suggested that lifespans would not increase as people reach an upper limit to life span, but the statistics prove otherwise.

Over the last 50 years, from 1960 t0 2010, the average life span has increased by around 10 years for a man and eight years for a woman. In 1980 just over 1% of the population was aged 85 or over, a figure which had doubled by 2010.

The number of people living to 100 in England and Wales has risen five-fold, from 2,280 in 1980 to 11,610 in 2010.

The ONS concluded: "The information presented in this report suggests that in England and Wales an upper limit to life span has not yet been reached, and that we will almost certainly see further increases in the average age at death."

In 1841 life expectancy at birth for males was just 40, and 42 for females. The increasingly ageing population has long caused concern around health care, pensions and retirement ages.

Earlier this month Sajid Javid, Economic Secretary to the Treasury, warned that public sector pensions needed a drastic overhaul, saying the current system could not handle the "unprecedented" levels of people living longer.

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