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Proportion alive by year of birth, sex and age. Born 1921 and projection born 2021

diagram

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The proportion of the population that reaches older ages has increased markedly since the 1920s. This is illustrated in the diagram, which compares the mortality rates among those born in 1921 with the expected mortality rates among those born in 2021. Among those born in 1921, just over 5 percent of women and nearly 7 percent of men died before their first birthday. This compares to 0.2 percent among those born in 2021. Half of the women born in 1921 were alive at age 82, an age they reached in the year 2003. Among men born in that same year, half of them were alive at age 75. The percent of that cohort to reach their 100th birthday in 2021 is estimated to about 1.8 percent among women and 0.4 percent among men.

The population projections indicate that half of the women born in 2021 will reach age 94, while half of the men in this cohort will reach age 92. Just over 13 percent of the women and 8 percent of the men born in 2021 are expected to reach their 100th birthday.

The difference in mortality between the sexes was higher among those born in 1921 than it is expected to be among those born in 2021. The age at which half of the birth cohort remained alive was more than seven years higher for women than for men, among those born in 1921. This difference is expected to be just more than one year among those born in 2021.

When comparing two birth cohorts with a time space of 100 years differences in the proportion surviving to various ages becomes large. Life expectancy at birth was 73.3 years for women and 66.8 years for men, among those born in 1921. In the current projection, life expectancy at birth for those born in 2021 is estimated to be 91.9 years for women and 89.9 years for men. It is important to keep in mind that the calculations for those born in 2021 are a projection that spans 100 years into the future for the oldest ages.

In the short term, this projection can be regarded as a population forecast. In the long term, the projection should be regarded as precisely a projection of the population in the case that current behaviour and trends continue in the future. Furthermore, an assumption is made that regulations that apply today will continue to apply throughout the projection period. Already in the short term, changes in society may mean that projection conditions will change. 

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Last updated
2021-04-28

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