Assuming Google’s attempts to create immortality don’t come to fruition, everyone will eventually die, and it’s only a question of when.
The Social Security Administration naturally has a huge interest in estimating how long Americans are likely to live. A big part of making long term plans for paying retirement benefits to millions is knowing how long those millions can be expected to stay around.
To that end, the SSA calculated a series of “life tables”. Using actuarial models based on data from the Census Bureau, Medicare, and the National Center for Health Statistics, the SSA estimated the probabilities for American men and women to reach various ages based on when they were born.
These are, of course, estimates of probabilities for the entire population. Any particular person has health, lifestyle, and sheer luck as huge factors in his or her likelihood of mortality.
Business Insider made a series of charts to illustrate how likely Americans in different age groups are likely to make it to various milestones.
Most men who are currently 85 are unlikely to make it the next five years. About a fifth of 85 year old women will live at least another decade:
Meanwhile, most 75 year olds of both sexes will live to at least their 85th birthday. A quarter of men and over a third of women will make it to 90:
Those who are just starting or close to retirement can expect to live for another couple decades, as was pointed out in a JP Morgan report on retirement planning Business Insider reported on earlier:
For the rest of the charts showing younger cohorts with longer life expectancies, we look at probabilities of hitting decade milestones, rather than five-year intervals as above. Huge majorities of late-Boomers will make it to 70, with a healthy majority of those going on to see their 80th birthday:
Gen Xers have a similar mortality curve to the late boomers above. Nearly all 45 year olds will make it to 60, with majorities of both men and women seeing their 80th birthdays.
The oldest millennials will live far into the future. About 60% of 35 year old men and 70% of 35 year old women will be alive in 2060:
Younger millennials are also primed to live a long time. An overwhelming majority of today’s 25 year olds will make it to age 80, and 40% of women will live into their 90s.
The SSA projects that the gender gap in mortality will continue into the future, applying even to today’s teenagers. While 42% of 15 year old girls will live until they’re at least 90, only 29% of boys are expected to make it that far.
The youngest generation will be the longest lived in American history. More than four in ten of today’s five year old girls will see the year 2100, and nearly a third of five year old boys will live into the 22nd century.
For those who are curious about how we made these charts, we used the SSA’s cohort life tables, which chart mortality over the years for groups of people born in different census decades like 1950, 1960, and 2010. One of the columns in the tables starts out with an imaginary population of 100,000 boys and 100,000 girls born in a particular year, and then counts how many are still alive at each future age.
So, for each of those birth-year cohorts, we took the number of people still alive in 2015, and then calculated the fraction of those people who would be alive at various dates in the future.
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