People living past their 100th birthday will be considered common by the year 2050 to some experts. While extreme life extension is still a distant dream, the fact that modern humans tend to live longer today than their ancestors did decades ago demontrate a real trend towards significantly longer lifespans.
More importantly, some researchers belive that there is really no natural limit to human lifespan as has been suggested in the past. According to the study conducted by two leading European scientists—Jim Oeppen of Cambridge University, Dr. James Vaupel of the Max Planck Institute for Demography—centenarians will be quite common in the 21st century.
Lifespan Trends Towards Increased Longevity
Their research findings are based on lifespan patterns that have been recorded since the 1840s. From that period, the highest average human lifespan has been recorded to have increased quite significantly every year. Based on this trend, most people in Western Europe, Japan, the United States, and other countries with the highest life expectancies today will get to enjoy an average lifespan of 100 by 2050.
This is a far cry from the average life expectancy 200 years ago, which was around 33 years for men and 35 years for women. Currently, average global lifespan is at 65 years for men and 70 years for women.
On an average, Japanese men and women continue to dominate the lifespan arena, with men averaging at 77.6 years while women exceeding this by at least 7 years at 84.6. Meanwhile, both the United States and the United Kingdom trail behind other rich industrialized countries in terms of the average life expectancy of their citizens. In the UK, men are expected to live an average of 75 years while women are live slightly longer to 79.9 years. Frenchmen fare worse however at just 74.9 years, while French women appear more resilient at 82.4 years.
American males are expected to live an average of 75.9 years while most American women will get to live an average of 80.9 years. The relatively low life expectancy ranking in the US as compared with other rich nations is largely attributed by many experts to smoking and obesity, two of the most notorious culprits that are pulling down American life expectancy records.
Up north, Canadians are faring significantly better. According to Shiang Ying Dai, a senior analyst with Statistics Canada’s health statistics division in Ottawa, “People are living longer, longer than ever.” Older Canadians are also healthier in general such that most Canadian men will reach 78.8 years while Canadian women will get to live up to 84.1 years.