Longevity explained

by Sergey Young

Longevity Revolution. The Changing Economics Of Aging

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March 12, 2021

If you were born in 1960, you had a 13 percent chance of living to be 100. Fast forward to today, and that number has expanded to 50 percent — and will continue to climb. In the last century and a half, we’ve doubled our lifespans. As I’ve outlined in this series of articles, the trend of living longer, healthier lives will only accelerate thanks to advances in technology and medicine.

This is fantastic news, but it sometimes meets skepticism. There is already hand wringing about how we can support the current aging population, as the number of people age 60 and up is projected to double by 2050 and triple by 2100. But because people are going to be living longer and healthier lives, the economics of aging are in fact being transformed. The opportunity should trump fear.

Cities and workplaces are adapting. Having a substantial population of seniors creates many tangible benefits. Many individuals are excited about the prospect of staving off disease and having more time to enjoy their time on Earth on a personal level, but there are societal and economic perks at play as well. 

Cities and workplaces are adapting

Over a decade ago, Portland, OR became the first metro area in the United States to join the World Health Organization’s (WHO) network of “Global Age-Friendly Cities.” The network’s aim is to better meet the needs of older residents—through everything from housing and transportation to volunteering and social participation—so they’re not required to live in retirement communities. WHO also has a database of age-friendly practices—from a physical activity initiative in Canada to digital education in Sweden—that represent the seeds of the future. 

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