Rise in UK Life Expectancy
A quick glimpse into Cardiff’s past shows it wasn’t always the case. With a history steeped in shipping and mining, past generations in South Wales certainly had it hard with 10% of the population working in mining alone back in 1911. Data collected for the census showed that life expectancy in Wales was just 50 for men and 54 for women. Happily, today the average life expectancy is around 83 for men and 86 for women.
Clearly the advances in medical science mean that those in the 18-30 bracket today have good prospects of living longer than their parents. Statistics out last week show that there are now 12,320 people in England and Wales over the age of 100. That’s six times the amount back in 1981!
It’s good news for the ladies out there too as there is 5.9 women for every man over the age of 100. This trend is set to continue, with a huge 30% rise in the number of people over the age of 90 in the last ten years.
Worldwide Rise in Life Expectancy
The ramifications of this increase on institutions such as the NHS are constantly being debated. One thing is for sure, life expectancy will continue to rise and the elderly population is going to balloon to around 13 million in the next 15 years or so. The number of centurions by then is set to rise to an astonishing 36,000. But the UK is not alone – as this graph below shows. Japan it would seem has an even bigger issue to contend with.
The ageing population across the world
The World Health Organisation believes that the number of people suffering with long term conditions such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes will put real pressure on the National Health Service and the care industry as a whole. The question remains whether the correct policies are in place to handle such a sea change in the demographic makeup of England and Wales.
So one wonders how the landscape will be in Cardiff in fifty years time. The 18-30 population that have voted it the best city to live in, will they still think the same? By then, many will be in their old age and well on their way to being centurions themselves. How will the Health service, in whatever guise it will be by then, be able to cope with the ever expanding elderly population? These are questions that we can only surmise as to the answers.
Your Comments on Life Expectancy
If you know someone who is in their late 90’s and still living in their home we would love to hear from you. We would love to hear what it means to be independent, the challenges they may face. We would also be interested to hear what services they use to make life more comfortable and how reliable they find them. Email your thoughts at [email protected] or leave a comment at the end of this article.