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zev_steinhardt
08-01-2000, 05:49 PM
Here's one I'm having a little difficulty figuring out.

The current life expectancy of a white male (at least as of 1996) is 73.9 years.
Source: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/lifexpec.htm

Now then, life expectancy (if I'm right, if not, please correct me) takes into account all manners of deaths. However, I highly doubt that at age 30, I'm going to die of crib death (unless it's a really delayed case). I'm also unlikely to die of other childhood illnesses. In addition, because of where I live (NYC), I'm unlikely to run into a bear in the wilderness, die in a volcanic explosion, etc.

With these factors taken into account, what is my true life expectancy?

Zev Steinhardt

BobT
08-01-2000, 05:54 PM
You need to find the charts that tell you how many years you have to live after you reach a certain age. Up to a certain point, as you get older, you become more likely to live longer than average.

Guessing that you're a white male by your screen name, you now have a life expectancy of 75.6 years. However, those figures were for someone turning 30 in 1996. (Which I did, so I guess I better get moving.)

zev_steinhardt
08-01-2000, 05:58 PM
Originally posted by BobT
You need to find the charts that tell you how many years you have to live after you reach a certain age. Up to a certain point, as you get older, you become more likely to live longer than average.

Guessing that you're a white male by your screen name, you now have a life expectancy of 75.6 years. However, those figures were for someone turning 30 in 1996. (Which I did, so I guess I better get moving.)

Ah, that explains it.

I was wondering why someone who was 0 would live for 73 years for example, but a 30-year-old would still have 45 years.

Now then, BobT how could I factor in geographic location and other variables?

Zev Steinhardt

BobT
08-01-2000, 06:12 PM
Sounds like you need an actuary. These people send there entire days working on problems like this. The CDC just collects all the info and sorts it out.

Just go to an insurance agent and tell him you want to buy a life insurance policy. Those people are very interested in how long you are going to live.

Llardball
08-01-2000, 06:32 PM
Sometimes I think these life expectancy figures are way off base. With the parents of baby boomers living into their 80's and 90's, the life expectancy of anyone under 35 or 30 should be around 90. Think of our diet. We (age 30 and under) didn't grow up eating fried eggs and fried chicken and fried crap and then suck down some chocolate shake. If the people that did that can live to be 80, I should live to at least 137. Maybe 138. Do people that come up with these life expectancy figures take diet into account (not to hijack the thread or anything)?

Arjuna34
08-01-2000, 10:02 PM
Originally posted by Llardball
Sometimes I think these life expectancy figures are way off base. With the parents of baby boomers living into their 80's and 90's, the life expectancy of anyone under 35 or 30 should be around 90. Think of our diet. We (age 30 and under) didn't grow up eating fried eggs and fried chicken and fried crap and then suck down some chocolate shake. If the people that did that can live to be 80, I should live to at least 137. Maybe 138. Do people that come up with these life expectancy figures take diet into account (not to hijack the thread or anything)?

It's easy to get a skewed perception of life expectancy by just observing people around you- you normally only see people in the same socio-economic group, not a true US average. 90 years is higher than the US average now. I think actuary tables use past data to compute the tables; they don't try to factor in unknowns. Nobody really knows how the average US diet today will fare 50 years from now.

While the average has been going up steadily for the last few thousand years, the max life expectancy hasn't changed much. In Rome 2000 years ago, the average was 30-40 years, but some people made it to their 80's and higher. So far, medicine hasn't been too good at increasing the max age.

Arjuna34

BobT
08-01-2000, 11:01 PM
All actuaries can do is use data from the past to see what has happened and project in to the future because of that.

We might have some nutritional advantages over our ancestors, but we probably don't exercise as much as they did. (When your grandfather says he had to walk five miles to school everyday, at the least, he walked a lot farther than most of us do everyday.)

Modern medicine may be able to cure a lot of horrible diseases, but there is still a limit to how many miles we can all put on our chassis until we break down.

C K Dexter Haven
08-02-2000, 11:24 AM
Life expectancy is based at a current age. Your life expectancy changes each year that you survive (and, of course, is reduced to zero the year that you die.) Once you have already lived to be 75, your life expectancy wouldn't be negative, for instance.

Most life expectancy tables are from birth; that is probably where your number comes from.

Samples from a 1983 Group Annuity Mortality Table (which happens to be the one I have handy):

SAMPLE LIFE EXPECTANCIES
Age 20 - 57.9 (male), 64.1 (female)
Age 30 - 48.1 (male), 54.3 (female)
Age 40 - 38.5 (male), 44.5 (female)
Age 50 - 29.2 (male), 34.9 (female)
Age 60 - 20.6 (male), 25.7 (female)
Age 70 - 13.2 (male), 17.1 (female)
Age 80 - 7.6 (male), 10.2 (female)

Note that the male age 20 has a total expectancy of 77.9, while the male age 40 (having already survived the intervening 20 years) has a total expectancy of 78.5.

Hope that helps.

IzzyR
08-02-2000, 12:02 PM
The way you could do it, if you happen to have the tables handy, is to subtract a year for every year that goes by, and add the chance of dying in that year.

So that if, for example, a male aged 30 has a life expectancy of 80 (50 years remaining) and a 1% chance of dying during his 30th year (both theser numbers are made up), when he hits 31 his life expectancy is 80+.01 (49.01 years remaining).