Everyone will die someday, and it is only a question of when.
Through the power of actuarial estimates, it is possible to figure out approximately how long you are likely to live. We made a set of charts, based on data from the Social Security Administration’s cohort life tables, that show, given your gender and current age, the probability that you will reach some particular later age.
Naturally, these are based on averages for a particular age group—health conditions and lifestyle choices like diet, exercise, and smoking can vastly alter one’s life expectancy. Regardless, this is important information for anyone who has to think about things like retirement and estate planning.
If you are an 80-year-old man, your long-term odds are not great. There is a 30 percent chance of making it to your 90th birthday, and only about 14 in 1,000 will see 100.
Seventy-year-olds have a somewhat better prognosis. Almost two-thirds of 70-year-old men and almost three-fourths of 70-year-old women will live at least another 10 years, and more than one-fifth of men will make it to 90, as will one-third of women.
For 60-year-olds, we see some of the benefits of modern medicine kicking in. The overwhelming majority of 60-year-olds will live until at least 70, and majorities will get to at least 80.
Similarly, very few people who make it to 50 die before they turn 60. As we look at younger and younger cohorts, we see better and better long-term odds as well.
For people turning 40, comfortable majorities will see 80, and one in 20 women who are currently 40 will be able to blow out 100 birthday candles someday.
Dying in your 30s is an extremely old-fashioned idea. Only 1.5 percent of 30-year-old men, and just 0.9 percent of 30-year-old women will die before their 40th birthday.
The late 21st century will have more than its fair share of elderly millennials. Sixty percent of 20-year-old men and 70 percent of 20-year-old women will live to see the year 2074.
One interesting aspect of this data is that the Social Security Administration projects that the gap in longevity between men and women will continue into the future. Even among today’s 10-year-olds, girls are likely to outlive boys.
Finally, children born today will live longer than any other generation. About two-thirds will live past 80, and one-third past 90. Almost one in 10 girls born now will live past 100.