Sharp increase in life expectancy among older people

24/11/2011 15:00

Between 2000 and 2010 the life expectancy of newborn babies has increased substantially. For males it rose from 75.5 to 78.8 years and for females from 80.6 to 82.7. The remaining life expectancy at 65 increased from 15.3 to 17.6 years for men. The increase was not as big for women though, from 19.2 to 20.8 years.

Remaining life expectancy at 65

Remaining life expectancy at 65

Greater likelihood of reaching 80

The last decade saw a sharp increase in the likelihood that a 65-year-old will reach the age of 80. Thanks to the lower mortality risks in 2010, this probability rose to 63 percent for men, well up from the 52 percent of ten years earlier.

The increase was not as great for women, but women are still much more likely to reach 80 than men. Given the mortality risks of 2010, three quarters of the 65-year-old women will reach 80.

Probability that a 65-year-old will reach 80

Probability that a 65-year-old will reach 80

The likelihood of becoming very old is also increasing

If the current mortality risks apply in the future, one third of the women aged 65 will become 90 or older. Ten years ago this was a quarter.
Nearly one in five 65-year-old men may expect to reach 90 or older, compared to one in nine in 2000.

Probability that a 65-year-old will reach 90

Probability that a 65-year-old will reach 90

The probability that a 65-year-old will reach 100 has more than doubled for women in the past decade and tripled for men. The probability is still not very great, however: over 2 percent for 65-year-old women and less than 1 percent for 65-year-old men will reach 100.

Lifespan will probably turn out to be longer

The life expectancy in 2010 is calculated on the basis of the mortality risks per age that applied in that year. If these risks continue to decrease in the future at the rate expected in the most recent population forecast, the remaining life expectancy of 65-year-old men will be about 1.5 years higher. In that case it will be another 1.2 years more for women.

Lenny Stoeldraijer and Joop Garssen