Life Expectancy: Good News for Your Baby
Can you imagine your toddler growing up to be 80? 90? 100? It’s not as unlikely as you think.
What a paradox. Children nowadays are purported to be unhealthy – overweight, sedentary, raised on junk food and hooked to the TV and the Internet. They are likely to develop diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. On the other hand, the same generation of children is expected to live longer than their parents and their grandparents, according to a study by German and Danish researchers. They are the future centenarians.
Which Countries Have the Highest Life Expectancy?
Life expectancy has been improving with each generation. At least in developed countries. Japan and San Marino have the highest life expectancies in the world today: 86 and 81, respectively according to a World Health Organization (WHO) report. Canada is not far behind at 80.5 years. US life expectancy is 78.5.
If this trend of improvement continues, 75% of present day children born since 2000 will reach 75, even a hundred years old. Furthermore, the senior citizens of the future will be fitter, with less disability and functional limitations.
Why Are People Living Longer?
Advances in medical treatment and better health care seem to be what is making people in developing countries live longer despite the increased incidence of chronic diseases, pollution, and unhealthy lifestyle.
With all the efforts exerted to fight aging, diseases, and disability, it is a great to know that these efforts are bearing fruit. There are still countries with a life expectancy between 40 and 50 years due to poor health care and war.
Some Downsides to Having an Older Population
Despite this apparent victory against aging, there are some downsides to consider:
- Increased life expectancy and low birth rates will result in a population dominated by retirees and pensioners. Experts believe that in 5 to 10 years, some countries’ demography will reach a point wherein there will be more 65 plus citizens than under-fives. It would be a world with more grandparents than there are grandchildren to go around.
- Such a population structure described above can result in collapse of health care and welfare systems of developed countries.
- Even if birth rates are increased, Mother Earth can only support so much. We may reach a point when our population will outgrow our planet.
Experts believe that country leaders should act now and start preparing for the foreseeable future.
Can you imagine your toddler to live to be 100? Do you want to live to be 100?