Press release

20-year-olds three times more likely to reach 100 than their grandparents

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Twenty year olds are three times more likely to reach 100 than people of their grandparent’s age (80 year olds).

Twenty year olds are three times more likely to reach 100 than people of their grandparent’s age (80 year olds), and roughly twice as likely to reach 100 than people of their parent’s generation (50 year olds) new analysis reveals today.

This reflects how much life expectancy is changing across the generations.

These figures also show that a baby born this year is almost eight times more likely to reach 100 than one born in 1931. A baby girl born this year has a one in three chance of living to 100 and a baby boy has a one in four chance.

Minister of State for Pensions Steve Webb said:

These figures show just how great the differences in life expectancy between generations really are. The dramatic speed at which life expectancy is changing means that we need to radically rethink our perceptions about our later lives. We simply can’t look to our grandparents’ experience of retirement as a model for our own. We will live longer and we will have to save more.

In 2066 there will be at least half a million people aged 100 or over.

Notes for Editors:

  1. This analysis is available on the DWP website: http://research.dwp.gov.uk/asd/index.php?page=adhoc_analysis
  2. The figures are based on ONS 2008-based Cohort Life Expectancy Tables.
  3. People can calculate how likely they are to live to 100 using the Centenarian Calculator at Table 3 on page 4.
  4. The oldest person in the world is Besse Cooper aged 114 from Georgia USA (Guinness World Records). The oldest tree in the world is Methuselah the Great Basin bristlecone pine (Pinus longaeva) aged 4842 years old in California (Guinness World Records).  The oldest animal in the world is Jonathan the tortoise on the island of St Helena, aged over 176.