By Dr. Maxwell Ituen

Life Expectancy: (1999) In 1990, life expectancy was 47 years of age. Only one person in 25 had then survived to age 60. Women lived shorter lives due to childbirth. In the 1990s, the population growth rate for senior males was outstripping that of senior females, according to Census Bureau data.

The male population over the age 65 increased by 11% between 1990 and 1996, while the female population increased by 7.5%.
During the same time period, the number of men in the age group over 85 rose 27%, compared with 24% for women. The ratio of women to men in the age group over 85 narrowed from 3.1:1.9 to 3.1:1.95. Women still dominate the population over 65, but the gap is beginning to narrow. In 1990, women accounted for 60% of the population over 65; by 1996 that share had declined to 59%, a notable change in a population of this size
over this short period. The increasing number of men in the seniors’ housing market could affect developers significantly, particularly in the amenities sought. An increased availability of health care for older Americans through the emergence of Medicaid is cited as one factor in the increasing longevity of men, as is a decline in cigarette smoking among
older male. (Housing the Elderly Report, April 1998).

Old and Getting Older: (1999) World Population: The global average for life expectancy had increased from 45 to 63 years from the 1950’s.

However, 10% of the population is elderly – over 60 years of age. By 2050, it will increase to 20%. The majority of people 60 and older, 55%, are women.

Among those 80 or older, 65 percent are women. Japanese women now have a life expectancy of 83, highest in the world. Nine million of the 43 million Americans 60 and older live alone and 80% are women.

Striking differences exist between regions with the elderly: one of five Europeans, for example, is 60 or older, compared to one of 20 Africans. By 2020, 46 percent of women 80 and older will live in Asia.

The American Association for Retired Persons said the Internet has been a boom to the elderly, with 17 percent of all online consumers over 50 and seniors more likely to contact family and others in the cyberspace community, thus reducing any feelings of isolation.

Women and Life Time: (1999) Why women live longer: a doctor at Ball State University indicated that “flexibility, resilience and connections protect women against early death while men are more often wiped out by their own rigidity, aggression and denial of feelings.”

The life expectancy for men is now 72 years of age while women live an average of 78.8 years.
Men smoke more cigarettes and consume more alcohol. They are three times as likely as women to die from accidents and four times more likely to be homicide victims.

In 1900, life expectancy for men was 49.7 years and for women 50.9 years. But by the middle of the century, men could now be expected to live to 65.6 years of age and 71.7 years for women. The increase for women was due to women getting into holistic health and balancing their lives while men stayed in the “same old macho” roles. While women do suffer more ailments and depression earlier in life, they use such adversities to build into strength that they use later in life.

Longevity: (Met Life 1999) “In 1997 life expectancy for all persons combined rose to a new record high of 76.4 years. Additionally, average future lifetime for newborn girls and boys also established new peaks-79.3 years and 73.4 years, respectively. For girls, the 1997 value surpassed the previous high of 79.1 years recorded in 1992 and 1996 while for boys new peaks have been consecutively recorded since 1994. Last year’s longevity enhancements among men were larger than those for women – continuing the trend of the past few years.

Newborn girls could still anticipate living 5.9 years longer than boys.
The gap was 6.0 years in 1996 and 7.0 years in 1989 – 91. Current projections indicate that the disparity between the genders in average future fetime may decline to 4.6 years by the years 2050. Also worthy of note is
the apparent narrowing of the gap in longevity by race. In 1996 while
newborn white boys could expect to outlive non-white newborn boys by
5.0 years compared with 5.7 years in 1989-91; among girls the disparity
diminished from 4.1 years in 1989-91 to 3.6 years in 1996.”

Living Longer (1999) In ancient Greece, for example, life expectancy
at birth was 20. When the Declaration of Independence was signed, life
expectancy was still just 23; the median age was 16. Even as recently as
1900, most Americans died by age 47. In 1870, only 2.5% of all Americans
made it to age 65. By 1990, that percentage had increased five-fold to
12.7%. Today, 31 million people are over 65- and the figures continue to
grow, bolstered by advances in medicine and public health.

 

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