American longevity statistics
Since the 1900s, the average life span in the U.S. has grown by nearly 30 years. A report issued by the National Center for Health Statistics indicates that a person born in 1900 lived for an average of 47.3 years (46.3 years for men and 48.3 years for women). In 2000, average life expectancy at birth hit record highs, with men at 74.1 years and women at 79.5 years. By 2001, the average life was about 77.2 years (74.4 years for men and 79.8 years for women). American adults are living longer, fewer babies are dying in infancy, and the gap between white and black life expectancy has narrowed during the past decade. Those who reach age 65 now live to an average age of 81 for men and 84 for women. White women have the highest life expectancy, 80.2 years, followed by black women (75.5 years), white men (75 years) and black men (68.6 years). It is unclear whether this trend in longevity will continue.
While Americans are living longer, there are many people who live well beyond the expected lifespan. The International Longevity Center estimates about 50,000 Americans are 100 or older. With more preventive health care measures and successful treatments for illness and disease, more than 800,000 centenarians could be living in the U.S. by the middle of this century.
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