What Are the Odds of Living to 100?

Will You Live To Be 100?

Life expectancy is up as people are living longer than ever before, thanks to a number of factors including improvements in health science and technology. However, living to the age of 100 remains a remarkable and somewhat rare feat. Individuals aged 100 or older, referred to as centenarians, make up less than one percent of the U.S. population. What are the odds that you’ll live to age 100?Photo: 100 Years Old, Birthday Cake

What Centenarians and Life Expectancy Tell Us Today

According to the U.S. Census Special Report on Centenarians, in 2010, there were 53,364 centenarians in the United States or 1.73 per 10,000 people in the total population. The Centenarian Special Report also shed light on a few interesting facts about centenarians alive today:


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Geography Matters

To start with, the United States falls behind other developed countries in terms of the proportion of centenarians to the total population:
Bar Chart" Centenarians in Developed Countries

CountryCentenarian Share of the Total Population
Japan3.43 per 10,000
France2.70 per 10,000
United Kingdom1.95 per 10,000
Sweden1.92 per 10,000
United States1.73 per 10,000

Moreover, there are regional differences within the United States. Centenarians comprise a higher proportion of the total regional population in the Midwest and Northeast and a lower share in South and the West.

The Odds Dramatically Higher for Women Than Men

While life expectancy has risen overall, women continue to live longer than men, a trend that is reinforced in current data on centenarians. Women make up 82.8% of individuals age 100 years and older while men make up just 17.2%.

The Odds of Living to 100 Change Over Time, Generational Cohort

Overall, the trend for life expectancy is one of increase. Since 1970, life expectancy in the U.S. has risen by nearly a decade, from 70.8 years to 79 years today. Additionally, in 2011 in the United Kingdom (where life expectancy is 81 years old, roughly two years higher than in United States), the Department for Work and Pensions released a report listing the chances of living to age 100 by year of birth:

Odds-of-Living-to-100-line-chart

Search by Year of Birth

Year of BirthMaleFemaleBoth Sexes
19120.30%1.10%0.70%
19130.30%1.10%0.70%
19140.30%1.20%0.70%
19150.30%1.20%0.80%
19160.40%1.30%0.80%
19170.40%1.40%0.90%
19180.50%1.60%1.10%
19190.70%1.90%1.30%
19200.60%1.80%1.20%
19210.70%2.10%1.40%
19220.80%2.30%1.60%
19231.00%2.50%1.70%
19241.10%2.70%1.90%
19251.20%3.00%2.10%
19261.40%3.20%2.30%
19271.60%3.50%2.50%
19281.70%3.80%2.80%
19292.00%4.20%3.10%
19302.30%4.60%3.40%
19312.50%5.10%3.80%
19322.90%5.60%4.20%
19333.20%6.20%4.70%
19343.60%6.80%5.20%
19354.00%7.30%5.60%
19364.30%7.90%6.10%
19374.60%8.40%6.50%
19385.00%8.90%6.90%
19395.20%9.30%7.20%
19405.40%9.60%7.50%
19415.70%9.90%7.80%
19426.00%10.30%8.10%
19436.20%10.60%8.40%
19446.40%10.90%8.60%
19456.60%11.10%8.90%
19466.90%11.50%9.20%
19477.10%11.80%9.50%
19487.40%12.20%9.80%
19497.70%12.50%10.10%
19507.90%12.80%10.40%
19518.20%13.10%10.60%
19528.40%13.50%10.90%
19538.60%13.70%11.20%
19548.80%14.00%11.40%
19559.10%14.40%11.70%
19569.30%14.70%12.00%
19579.50%14.90%12.20%
19589.80%15.20%12.50%
195910.00%15.60%12.80%
196010.20%15.90%13.10%
196110.50%16.20%13.30%
196210.70%16.50%13.60%
196311.00%16.80%13.90%
196411.20%17.10%14.20%
196511.50%17.40%14.50%
196611.80%17.70%14.70%
196712.00%18.10%15.00%
196812.30%18.40%15.30%
196912.50%18.70%15.60%
197012.80%19.00%15.90%
197113.10%19.40%16.20%
197213.30%19.70%16.50%
197313.60%20.00%16.80%
197413.90%20.40%17.10%
197514.20%20.70%17.40%
197614.50%21.10%17.80%
197714.80%21.40%18.10%
197815.10%21.70%18.40%
197915.40%22.10%18.70%
198015.70%22.40%19.10%
198116.00%22.80%19.40%
198216.30%23.10%19.70%
198316.60%23.50%20.10%
198417.00%23.80%20.40%
198517.30%24.20%20.70%
198617.60%24.50%21.10%
198717.90%24.90%21.40%
198818.20%25.30%21.70%
198918.50%25.60%22.10%
199018.90%26.00%22.40%
199119.20%26.40%22.80%
199219.50%26.70%23.10%
199319.90%27.10%23.50%
199420.20%27.50%23.80%
199520.50%27.80%24.20%
199620.90%28.20%24.50%
199721.20%28.50%24.90%
199821.50%28.90%25.20%
199921.90%29.30%25.60%
200022.20%29.60%25.90%
200122.60%30.00%26.30%
200222.90%30.40%26.60%
200323.20%30.70%27.00%
200423.60%31.10%27.30%
200523.90%31.50%27.70%
200624.30%31.80%28.10%
200724.60%32.20%28.40%
200825.00%32.60%28.80%
200925.30%32.90%29.10%
201025.70%33.30%29.50%
201126.00%33.70%29.90%

Our odds of living to 100 are dramatically better than those of our grandparents, and babies born today have it even better.

Sources:

“Differences in life expectancy between those aged 20, 50 and 80 – in 2011 and at birth.” Gov.UK. Department for Work and Pensions, 1 Aug. 2011. Web. 14 Dec. 2013. <https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/223114/diffs_life_expectancy_20_50_80.pdf>

“Expectation of Life and Birth, and Projections.” U.S. Census Bureau. N.p., 18 Aug. 2011. Web. 14 Dec. 2013. <http://www.census.gov/compendia/statab/2012/tables/12s0104.pdf>.

“Life expectancy at birth, total (years).” Data. The World Bank, n.d. Web. 14 Dec. 2013. <http://data.worldbank.org/indicator/SP.DYN.LE00.IN>.

Meyer, Julie. “Centenarians: 2010.” 2010 Census Special Reports. U.S. Census Bureau, 13 Dec. 2012. Web. 17 Nov. 2013. <http://www.census.gov/prod/cen2010/reports/c2010sr-03.pdf>.

Image Credit: flickr/the_junes

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