Press release

Long may they reign

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

Over a third of children born this year, including the royal baby, are expected to live to 100.

Over a third of children born this year, including the royal baby, are expected to live to 100. The chance of reaching this impressive milestone has grown dramatically and has increased with every royal birth over the past 87 years.

In 1926, when great grandmother Queen Elizabeth was born, life expectancy was 70.6 for a baby girl and the chance of living to 100 was only 3.4 per cent.

For first time grandfather Prince Charles, born in 1948, the life expectancy for a boy was 77.4 with an 8.2 per cent chance of living to 100.

In 1982, when second in line to the throne and the soon to be father Prince William was born, there was a life expectancy of 85.2 years at birth for a boy with a 19.5% chance of living to 100.

This has improved even further as girls born this year will have an average life expectancy of 94.3 years and an over 39 per cent chance of living to 100, while boys will have a life expectancy of 90.9 and just under 33 per cent chance of living to 100.

As well as being the year of the Queen’s birth, 1926 was the year when a man’s State Pension age was pinned at 65 and has remained so to this day, despite improving longevity. Around 1 million people aged 65 or over are now in work and this figure will soon include Prince Charles who will reach State Pension age in November.

Minister for Pensions Steve Webb said:

Over the past 87 years, life expectancy has grown by more than 20 years, and for a baby born this year, including the royal baby, the chance of living to 100 is over a third. Yet the State Pension age has not kept up with our changing longevity.

We are reforming the State Pension so it is sustainable for the future. As well as providing a basis for saving we are going to introduce an independent panel who will look at state pension age to ensure it reflects how people live and work.

The state pension age will rise to 67 by 2028 and the government are bringing in a simple single tier pension so people will know what their state pension will be and can save more for a comfortable retirement on top.

The Pensions Bill, currently in committee, proposes a review of the State Pension age once every Parliament.

More information

The statistics in this press release are based on the population statistics on the Office for National Statistics website

For purposes of comparison, figures refer to England and Wales.

The State Pension age was set at 65 in 1926 when there were 9 people of working age for every pensioner. There are now 3 people of working age for every pensioner, and that is set to fall to nearer 2 by the end of this century. Women’s State Pension age is rising to 65 by 2018. State Pension age is rising to 66 for men and women by April 2020. We will bring forward a State pension age of 67 by 2028.

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