Columns 19.1.2015 06:00 am

Three more months a year

Gwynne Dyer

Gwynne Dyer

I simply do not understand why this statistic is not better known. The average human lifespan in a developed country has been increasing at three months per year ever since 1840 – and it’s still increasing at the same rate.

Everybody assumes lifespan grew much faster in the 19th and early 20th centuries and is growing much slower now. But no. It has plodded along at the same rate, adding about three months to people’s life spans every year for the past 175 years.

And yes, that does mean that a baby born four years from now can expect to live, on average, a whole year longer than a baby born this year.

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