November 29, 2004
Welcome to the ageing future
In the UK, a man who turned 60 in 1981 could expect to live another 16 years and a woman almost 21 years. By 2003 this had increased to 20 years for men and 23 for women; and according to official UK projections, by 2026 this will rise to almost 24 years for men and almost 27 for women.
Even this could be an underestimate. Actuaries' charts show life-expectancy projections curving to a plateau to match the notion of a biological "maximum age" beyond which the human race cannot go.
But this theory is being challenged by research which suggests life expectancy may continue to improve in a straight line as it has done in the past.
Posted by Tom Troceen