Are people really living longer?

Discussion in 'General Chat' started by Melvin, Aug 27, 2006.

  1. Melvin

    Melvin
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    Are people really living longer in the UK? Does the government have conclusive proof of this? Or is this just an excuse to keep us working and paying taxes as long as we can before we finally expire.
    From personal experience I have known many people in the last couple of years that have died in their 50's and 60's and in some cases a lot younger. This trend seems to be rife in my work colleagues golf club where supposedly fit guys are keeling over left right and center from all sorts of ailments (heart attacks/cancer) etc ,etc.
    It would be interesting to find out what other people think.
     
  2. Mr.D

    Mr.D
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    None of the male members of my family have made it past 64 in recent memory. In spite of not smoking , being active , decent diet ,rural enviroment.

    The only positive aspect of this is that they all just dropped dead one day without warning rather than suffering prolonged illness.

    However I am somewhat reluctant to invest heavily in my pension scheme to any great extent.
     
  3. Badger0-0

    Badger0-0
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    I'd say people are generally living longer.
    But at the same time, I have to agree that most people do seem to die young.
    My dad was 63, my uncle 61, an aunt 63.
    I don't think I'll be bothering with a pension either.
     
  4. pave

    pave
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    Yes,from what i understand we have an ageing population,people living longer,resulting in longer pension payouts think thats why they are talking about raising the retirement age,
    Might be totally wrong.... guess i will find out...:D .
     
  5. misterjingo

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    The aging population is more to do with people having less children to support the number who reach older age.
     
  6. pave

    pave
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  7. overkill

    overkill
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    No. Take a look at the recent censuses. We, like the majority of Western nations, have a large number of people living well into their 70's and 80's. Remember, this is still a fairly recent phenomena, as even as late as the 70's most people were still looking to get into their late 60's (according to the census). Until the mid 20th C it was still around the 50's. Our 'natural' genetic longevity is until the 40's. Anything over that is a bonus - depending on health.

    The pensions thing is a lack of foresight long term rather than a recent thing. Once again the problem started across the pond, and now govt here, and companies have followed suit by scrapping altogether or reducing pension levels.

    It is also linked to a lack of 'certainty' in the modern work environment. Traditionally you worked for the same company for twenty odd years, retired, and usually snuffed it pretty quickly - if you were male. Companies didn't mind investing in your future if you stayed on and invested in theirs. Nowadays four years in one job is the mean. So, it's too much hassle (and expense) to keep tabs on your pension fund for a former employer.
     
  8. Setenza

    Setenza
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    The more worrying fact is that the people who are living longer are all the wrong ones :(
     
  9. Pack Dude

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    You don't like the thought of the rich and middle classes living longer than the working class and the great unwashed?

    Roman times the average life span was just 22 (mainly because of the appalling rate of infant mortality), by 1800 it was 40 years, 1900 around the late 40s and today it hovers around the mid-to-late 70s. So say the BBC.

    Scotland continues to have the lowest life expectancy in the UK, with men in Glasgow expected to live 69.3 years. That age was 11 years less than in top-ranked local authority Kensington and Chelsea where men live to 80.8 years and women a further five years.
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/4424608.stm
     
  10. kbfern

    kbfern
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    I have recently been looking at my family history,and have information dating back to the early 1700's.

    What surprised me was that quite a few of my ancestors from the 18th/19th century lived untill their late 70's and early 80's.Yet both my parents died relatively young(mother 46 father 68).

    This has me wondering whether we really are living longer despite all the advances in medicine we have seen in the last few decades.
     
  11. overkill

    overkill
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    That can also be down to genetics. Many people doing fam hist find that their relatives lived into the 70's even in the 17th and 18th Centuries. It is also down to class, lifestyle, work etc very much as it is today.

    The average life expectancy was not 40 by 1800. If the BBC say that, I would like to know where they got the data.
     
  12. misterjingo

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    I'm just recalling from what I remember of A Level geography :D.

    I was taught that fertility rates were lowering due to a number of reasons, including the age at which most couples choose to have children (older means lower fertility rates), and many people choosing to have no children at all because of career progress or materialistic reasons.
    Taking into account the increasing age to which more people are living, if this was to continue, there would have been less children being born and increasing numbers of aging adults. The lower number of active tax payers wouldn't have been able to support the increasing population of pension age.
    BUT. Increasing immigration is seeing an increase in population levels (rather than the predicted decline).

    Quoted from this page:
    http://www.statistics.gov.uk/CCI/nugget.asp?ID=6

     
  13. mij

    mij
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    The government of the day always spent the pension fund (and every other fund) on the assumption the next generation of taxpayers will be larger and will pay more.

    When women became more interested in careers and possessions rather than performing their primary purpose, the government came up with a cunning plan, raise the retirement age and increase immigration (after convincing the masses we are all living longer, and that we have a skills shortage) so everything can carry on as before.

    The population has massively increased; there are more wealthy people than ever before, hence the increases in the amount of people living longer. Unfortunately a large majority of the poorer working & benefit classes still die too young to enjoy any pension they may have paid for.
     
  14. overkill

    overkill
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    A' level geog! :eek: God that takes me back! Twenty three years to be exact.........:D

    There is (if I can find it) an interesting breakdown of the birth and death rates over the last 230 years, although the 18th century ones are based on the Parish registers, which aren't as accurate as the census and other 19th C records. The change over the 19th Century is quite staggering as better diet meant lower infant mortality, and lower death rates overall. However, the number of industrial deaths amongst men keeps the male working class death rate high and their longevity down. This goes on until the 1940's, and the post (and during the) war H&S changes. Better medical treatments also brought the death rate down from the late 19th C onwards.

    However, as before, genetics means some families have 'long lived' members, as heart disease and cancer have long been killers that are sadly passed on.

    There is also a list of 19th C killers (medical) for the NW somewhere and they clearly understood those links quite early on.

    The birth rate has fallen from 2.5 in the 80's down to 1.5 now. That's a very quick drop (in historical terms). This has meant the UK's pop steadied around 56-7 million for a few decades.

    Recent Immigration is bringing the figure back up, but if the economy slows or new immigration laws are brought in (which seems inevitable now), it will fall off again.
     

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