Sunday, May 11, 2014

Expect the Unexpected

I was tipped off to this interesting data at the Calculated Risk Blog.  The topic was a wonky set of tables on exciting topics like life expectancy (hey, if you come for the financial commentary, I throw in the sarcasm for free).

Anyway, there are some data points in this report which are really amazing.

1) Life expectancy in the US

"The most frequently used life table statistic is life expectancy (ex), which is the average number of years of life remaining for persons who have attained a given age (x). To illustrate, 56,572 persons out of the original 2009 hypothetical life table cohort of 100,000 (or 56.6%) were alive at exact age 80. In other words, the probability that a person will survive from birth to age 80, given 2009 age-specific mortality, is 56.6%." 

So this says that a child born 2009 has a better than 50/50 chance of living to 80 years old in the US.  

2) Odds of getting to 100

However, this is the knock your socks off stat.  In 1900 for every 100,000 children born just 13 made it to see the year 2000 (lived to 100) or a roughly a 1 in 10,000 chance of getting to 100.  However, by 2009 for every 100,000 children born an amazing 2,056 are expected to hit triple digits or 2.06% of all births!  That's a 1 in 50 chance of getting to 100!

That is unreal!  

If you have 50 preschool kids born in 2009 you could expect 1 of those kids to live to 100!  

As my astute math freak kids pointed out - this seems counter-intuitive if you look around the US.  However, as I pointed out, we're talking about the outliers here.  A person in great health, that exercises, and eats right and utilizes modern medicine to their benefit should be expected to do better than average.  

While I could get really worried about what the US of the future looks like with an aging, increasingly retired population, low immigration rates, low birth rates, etc, tonight I think I'll just be amazed by the increase in the odds of getting to the ripe old (or not so old) age of 100 in the US in just over a century.

Cheers!

PS - Mkts seem to be shrugging off another overwhelming Pro-Russian vote in Eastern Ukraine.  Putin is likely to bide his time here until his meetings with China later this month but so far nothing in this crisis has gone according to plan.

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