Science

Children born in 2022 could live to 90

Babies born in 2022 can live to 93 years for girls and 90 years for boys, according to an INSEE study released on Thursday, and the figure continues to rise, but at a slower rate than in previous decades.

These figures are in line with the “central scenario”, that is, the assumption that mortality risks will continue to decline in the future at the same rate as during the 2010-2019 decade.

However, other scenarios are also possible: if the risk of mortality declines less rapidly in the future, life expectancy for the generation born in 2022 could peak at 88 years for women and 86 years for men. Conversely, if the decline in mortality risk accelerates (for example, due to possible future advances in medicine), life expectancy for this generation could rise to 99 years for women and 96 years for men.

“Life expectancy is increasing from generation to generation,” notes the Institute for Statistical Research. And this is on an impressive scale, since the generation born in 1900 – now completely extinct – lived on average only 56 years for women and 48 years for men.

In other words, “women and men born in 2022 can live on average 37 and 42 years longer than generations born in 1900,” the authors emphasize.

Decreasing infant mortality has greatly contributed to this development, with more than 15% of children born in 1900 dying before their first birthday compared to less than 0.4% of children born in 2020.

The rate of increase in life expectancy “was especially rapid” for the generations born between the two wars and again after 1945, thanks in part to the advent of antibiotics. The increase continued for subsequent generations, but less rapidly.

To arrive at these results, demographers use both data from the past—for example, among people born in 1950, we know how many have already died and at what age—and projections for the future—for people born in 1950, who today is 72 years old. , we are trying to determine how many years on average they have left to live.

Thanks to this mixed method, we know that 0.9% of women born in 1900 became centenarians, but that 6.2% of those born in 1940 were likely to pass this milestone (according to the “central scenario”). For little girls born in 2022, the margin of uncertainty is very large: 10% will know 2122 with a low hypothesis, but 50% with a high hypothesis.

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