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Life expectancy at birth and age 65 by sex 1970–2020 and projection 2021–2070



The assumptions about the changes in mortality rates until 2070 indicate that there will be a continuous increase in the life expectancy at birth and in the life expectancy at age 65. Between 1970 and 2020, life expectancy at birth increased from just over 77 years to above 84 years for women and from just over 72 years to nearly 81 years for men. This was an increase by 7 years for women and 9 years for men. It is expected that by 2070 life expectancy at birth will increase to 89.8 years for women and 87.7 years for men – an increase of about 6 and 7 years for each sex, respectively.

In the projections it was assumed that the increase in life expectancy at birth between 2020 and 2070 will be smaller than the increase observed between 1970 and 2020. Up to 2070, the increase will be about one year smaller than the increase during the period 1970–2020. A slower increase in life expectancy is a consequence of the fact that mortality rates are assumed to decrease on a relative scale, which implies that it declines at a slower pace in absolute terms.

Remaining life expectancy at birth is a measure, or more precisely an index, that summarizes mortality and survivors for all ages during a year or a period. Life expectancy can be calculated from any age. From birth it is not the number of remaining years for a person born a specific year but the number of years a newborn will live if the mortality risks for all ages would remain at the same level as for the year of birth throughout the child’s entire life.

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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