Increasing Longevity in the Richer World

The Lancet projects future life expectancy in 35 developed markets based on a blend of 21 forecasting models. While the results are all probabilistic, the most striking one relates to women: “There is more than a 50% probability that by 2030, national female life expectancy will break the 90 year barrier, a level that was deemed unattainable by some at the turn of the 21st century.” Men in select countries (KO, AU, CH) have a 90% probability of surpassing 80 yrs by 2030. The countries with lowest life expectancy gains include US, JP, SE, and GR. The authors conclude: “Most of the projected gains in life expectancy will occur in older ages, especially in women, furthering the ageing trends in the industrialised world.” The authors also have some policy discussion about national health care and healthy ageing approaches.

The aging of the population is a well-known trend that raises significant issues about sustainable welfare state mechanisms. It also raises questions about growth opportunities and the changing landscape of demand as people, particularly women, live longer in developed markets.  Based on OECD & WHO data, this article can be a useful part of an overall sketch about the future of developed markets.

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