Will half of the 2000 birth cohort reach 100? Yes, but probably only in the world’s most longevous Regions.

Jeroen Spijker, Centre d'Estudis Demogràfics (CED)
Ilya Kashnitsky, Interdisciplinary Centre On Population Dynamics, University Of Southern Denmark
Iñaki Permanyer, Centre for Demographic Studies
Sergi Trias-Llimós, Centre d'Estudis Demogràfics

It has been almost 20 years since Oeppen and Vaupel’s seminal paper on the “Broken limits to life expectancy” where the authors asserted that the increase in the record expectation of life did not slow down for 160 years. In this study, we review the subsequent debates regarding this premise and update best-practice life expectancy trends with more recent data. In addition, we also consider sub-national trends as well as different projection methods, including linear extrapolation and the projection of time series of the underlying age-specific probabilities of death (TOPALS). Tentative results show that while historical trends in best-practice life expectancy increased linearly since the mid-1800s, they did so in a piecewise fashion as the rate of increase has slowed down in recent decades. Given the time trend increase in life expectancy over the last decade it seems unlikely that half of the 2000 birth cohort will reach 100 in most low-mortality countries in the world. Nevertheless, there may be a possibility that 50% of millennial women who live in specific sub-national populations become centenarians, in particular those living in several Japanese Prefectures and Spanish autonomous regions.

Keywords: Mortality, Longevity, Population projections, forecasts, and estimations, Methodology

See extended abstract.

  Presented in Session 84. Longevity in Perspective