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More than a third of babies born in 2012 will live to 100, report predicts

[ 2012-03-27 11:12]     字号 [] [] []  
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The ONS forecasts that 35% of the 826,000 people born in 2012 will live to become centenarians. (Agencies)

More than a third of the babies born this year could receive a 100th birthday message from whoever happens to be on the throne in the second decade of the 22nd century, according to figures published by the Office for National Statistics.

The ONS forecasts that 35% of the 826,000 people born in 2012 will live to become centenarians.

In its latest report – entitled What Are the Chances of Surviving to Age 100? – the ONS examines the births of 423,000 boys and 403,000 girls this year. It estimates that 135,000 of the boys and 156,000 of the girls could still be alive in 2112.

But a long life is not unalloyed good news. David Sinclair, head of policy and research at the International Longevity Centre UK, warned that for many the future may mean social isolation as they outlive friends and members of their families, physical isolation as they are trapped in unsuitable housing, and poor health.

"It is of course good news that so many more people are living longer," he said, "but there is a big 'but'. In many ways today's centenarians are unrepresentative. They are people who have escaped cancer, heart attack and stroke and so they are actually healthier than many people younger than them. Now that we are getting so much better at keeping people alive, that will no longer be the case. We will be older, but in worse health, and at high risk of living alone in unsuitable accommodation.

"The other problem is that we are very poor at forward planning, as politicians and individuals. We deal with the problems that are under our noses, but even problems two or three years away seem quite distant enough to put off. When you're talking about forecasts for a time half a century away and more, I see no evidence that we are putting in place the measures to deal with it."

This year there will be 14,500 centenarians in the UK, a number which is expected to increase to 110,000 in 2035.

The news for those turning 65 this year and hoping to make it to the same milestone is less bolstering: only 10% of men and 14% of women born in 1947 will make it to 100.

Women have higher life expectancies than men at every age: the likelihood of a girl born this year reaching her century is estimated to be 39%; for boys the figure is 32%.

The estimated number of female centenarians has risen from 500 in 1961 to more than 10,000 in 2010, a figure which is projected to reach 71,000 by 2035 and 276,000 by 2060.

Men are also living far longer, although their numbers are far fewer. There were an estimated 92 male centenarians in 1961 and just below 2,000 in 2010.

Figures released last year suggested that more than a quarter of children then aged 16 and under could expect to live to see their 100th birthday.







(中国日报网英语点津 Helen 编辑)