We’ve seen amazing improvements in life expectancy over the past few decades.
Six years have been added to global average life expectancy at birth, over the past two decades.
Much of this increase has been down to improvements in child mortality in low- and middle- income countries.
But in countries like the UK, post-retirement life expectancy has also increased rapidly.
“Life expectancy of a man aged 65 has increased from 14 years in the early 1980s to 21 years now – so that’s a 50% jump in just three decades,” says Richard Willets, director of longevity at insurance company Partnership.
Which is why, when the 2011 census was published, he went straight to the statistics about elderly populations.
“There were 30,000 fewer people aged in their 90s than previously believed,” he says – 429,000 instead of 457,000.