The Corner

Possibility of Seeing Your Next Birthday

In response to my diary piece, a kind reader has sent me the relevant

actuarial tables (though from 1983). Here is a subset of them. The meaning

of, for example, the “60″ row is: Of every 1,000 males aged 60 in 1983,

9.158 were destined not to make it to 61. It is indeed the case that at age

105, your chance of making it to your next birthday is only 50-50. Is it

me, or is there something a bit creepy about the actuarial business? An

actuary once told me that I would most likely die in October of 2026 (I

think that’s what it was). I’d really rather not have known that.

1983 GAM Attained Age Mortality Table

“Annual Rates of Death per 1,000 Lives”

Age Male Female

10 0.293 0.096

20 0.377 0.189

30 0.607 0.342

40 1.238 0.665

50 3.909 1.647

60 9.158 4.241

70 27.530 12.385

80 74.070 42.945

90 166.307 111.750

100 319.185 295.187

110 1000.000 1000.000

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