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Humans born now could live to 130, scientists project

Humans young and old

‘Very robust individuals’

Is 100 the new 130? The rate of people living an entire century is increasing and the children born now could reach new records.

Humans are living longer now than they ever have in history, thanks to advances in medicine and an aging population that spurs adjustments to economic and government policy.

(Contrary to popular belief, most people did not just keel over in their 30s during the Middle Ages. This widespread misconception stems from the ‘average lifespan’, which was brought down significantly due to high child mortality rates and the Black Plague, but I digress.)

So, what if someone told you that your child born today might live until 130 in the year 2100? That’s a projection coming from researchers at the University of Washington, whose study was just published in the journal Demographic Research.

The number of people living past the age of 100, aka centenarians, has grown to half a million worldwide over the last few years, and there are even a few living past 110, aka supercentenarians.

French woman Jeanne Calment was the oldest person who has ever lived (that we know of). She was 122 years and 164 days old when she died in 1997, attributing her long life to chocolate, olive oil, cigarettes, and cheap red wine.

Using a Bayesian model of probability statistics, the study’s authors could project the number of people that may live until age 110 during this century, finding that there was a greater than 99 percent probability someone would break Calment’s record by 2100.

But even with advances in healthcare, the mortality rate will flatten after a certain age, for example, someone that lives to 110 has the same probability of living another year as someone that lives to 114.

“It doesn’t matter how old they are, once they reach 110, they still die at the same rate,” professor of sociology and of statistics at UW Adrian Raftery said in a press release.

“They’ve gotten past all the various things life throws at you, such as disease. They die for reasons that are somewhat independent of what affects younger people. This is a very select group of very robust people.”

Photo by Paolo Bendandi on Unsplash

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