The second issue of the Longevity Bulletin attempts to answer a question whether life expectancy is the lifespan we should expect.

A number of recent publications have used life expectancy data. If life expectancy is given as 82 years then should people from that population expect their average lifespan, or age at death, to be 82? A lot depends on the precise definition of the life expectancy indicator.

What you find in this Longevity Bulletin:

  • Period life expectancy is useful as a summary of relative mortality levels between populations, but will underestimate realistic expected lifespans
  • If the question is “What lifespan should I expect?” the technically correct answer will be given by cohort life expectancy for a specific cohort
  • Life expectancy is becoming an increasingly limited indicator. The most common age at death - the mode – may become more useful

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Contact Details

For more information about the Longevity Bulletin please contact the Research and Knowledge Team.

research@actuaries.org.uk