You're Likely to Live!

You’re older than you’ve ever been, as the song goes, and now you’re even older. And for each eight years you age, you double your chances of dying. That’s the Gompertz Law of human mortality, which is actually sunnier than you think. If you’re 24 today, you stand a 0.3 percent chance of dying in the next year. That chance doubles, to just 0.6 percent, by the time you’re 32. But the compound interest of your corporeal decay mounts quickly. By the time you’re 89, your chances of expiring before the end of the year rise to 86.4 percent. The Gravity and Levity blog offers a wonderfully clear explanation of the Gompertz curve, with a handy visual calculator of your chances of living out the day. And now you’re older still. [%comments]


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  1. Brian says:

    I think all the probabilities in this little summary need to be divided by 10. For a 25-year-old, the probability of dying during the year is only 0.03%. For an 89-year-old it should be about 8%. It doesn’t get as high as 50% until age 100 or so. But the CUMULATIVE probability of dying before a given age can be pretty high (about 50% at age 80).

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  2. Allan Crossman says:

    “By the time you’re 89, your chances of expiring before the end of the year rise to 86.4 percent.”

    That implies that there should be about 7 times as many 89 year olds as people over 90. Which is not the case:

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  3. Kathy says:

    Today is my 40-somethingth birthday. Way to make me feel better. Thanks a lot.

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  4. ECSL says:

    Actually, the Gompertz and Makeham models of mortality do not seem to model accurately the mortality rate at ages 80 and above, where the increase in mortality rates slows down.

    I think the probability of dying within the year at 89 was really around 15-20% or so.

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  5. Cannon says:

    “…for each eight years you age, you double your chances of dying. That’s the Gompertz Law of human mortality…”

    To check the math on this you would not compare the number of 89 year olds to 90 year olds, but would compare the number of people 82-89 to the number of 90-97 year olds. He groups the ages in groups of 8 years, not in groups of one year. Make sense? I will say that I did not waste my time checking his math though because I don’t care that much! LOL

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  6. Mark says:

    Uhh … hold on! The “visual calculator” absolutely, positively does not show your chance of dying in any year. It tells you only the percentage of folks who live to any given age. That’s it. It says that 86.4% of people die by age 89, not that 86.4% of 89 years olds will die within the year.

    (Of course, this means all the other commenters are right. An 89 year old’s chance of dying in a year is nothing like 86%.)

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  7. MarboChengCMS says:

    Everyone knows that times matter when it comes to economy. “Time is gold” if you want to buy stock start at an young agebecause you do not want to be old and start investing on stock, it is already too late fore you. Other than you chances of die is high, it will take time for stock to rise or even go down. When your young you buy your stuff and yo do not have to care if it rises or goes down because you still have time to wait until it rises but when your old you know time is running short and in such short amount of time you cannot determine whether your stock’s will go down or up. Therefore, it better to try to do things as soon as possible because every time you waste is every money that you can lose. You know that if you do not work when your on your twenties and starts at your thirties you know that your going to earn less money now that you have wasted ten years of your life. Not only in stock or jobs but any investment requires times to pay off therefore do not try to invest when it is too late.

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  8. RatChoicer says:

    Interesting, but covariates and confidence intervals would be nice. My guess is that the XB could belong in the exponential AND superexponential.

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