Old age is getting older
London - Old age no longer begins at 65 due to our healthier and more active lives, according to new scientific analysis, writes Jane Palmer.
United Nations data suggests that in the next ten years, Britain’s ‘median age’ - the most commonly occurring age in the population - will be 41, compared to 35 in 1960.
Over the same period, life expectancy from the median age will also have risen, from 38 years to 41. The numbers indicate that more people than ever are living to 82 and beyond.
Traditionally “old age” is defined by policy-makers as the threshold when remaining life expectancy falls below 15 years, and this calculation has been used to determine retirement age.
But the researchers from the US International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis say that basing such things on chronological age is outdated.
They say a “suite of characteristics such as overall health, cognitive ability and the economic health of the supporting population should be taken into account when determining when a person should qualify for benefits or retirement.
“Today people are climbing mountains at 80, running marathons and going to universities and living longer,” says Sergei Scherbov, co-author of a new study published in the journal Population And Development Review.
Mail on Sunday