Monday, October 20, 2008

Brick to: Life expectancy hocus pocus

I just read another article which repeated the following statistic:
"An American born in 1900 could expect to live 47.3 years, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Controls and Prevention's 2007 report on health in the U.S. By 1950, that expectation grew to 68.2 years. By 2005, the projected life expectancy was 77.8 years."

Arrrgh, that always gets my goat! Many people in "the olden days" lived to some of the ripe old ages people enjoy now; only infant mortality was high and many children died of childhood diseases. People are led to believe that most adults actually died before they turned 50 in 1900 after reading that information!

Here is a chart of "remaining life expectancies" which gives a better picture:
(from a Google Answers article)

So, you can see that in 1900, if you lived past your infancy and childhood diseases, at the age of 20 you expected to live to at least 62 years old, not 47.3!

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