The London Olympics: 2012 Children to live 30 years longer
This year will see the Olympics being held in London for the third time. As the city prepares to play host to the Games, one enhanced annuity firm, Partnership, has published research showing that babies born in 2012 will live significantly longer than those born in 1908 and 1948, when the Olympics were previously held in London.
Average life expectancy in 1908 was 50 and 54 years old for men and women respectively. These figures are more in line with today's Third World life-expectancy rates. As British people now choose to start a family later in life than their great-grandparents, it is clear that increased life expectancy affords a modern-day population more choice.
By the 1948 Olympics, average life expectancy had risen to around 66 years old. This is still vastly different to what we see today and most people now work into their late sixties.
Current life expectancy is 78 for men and 82 for women, so we are living around thirty years longer than our 1908 counterparts. The result is that of all babies born this year, around 289,000 of them will reach 100 years old compared to only 100 centenarians in 1908.
Why has life expectancy increased?
As the figures show, life expectancy has soared during the last century and experts attribute it to improvements in lifestyle and medical innovations.
Sanitation and personal hygiene have improved and we now have a large number of antibiotics and other modern drugs to combat disease. Additionally, we are starting to reap the rewards of several decades of anti-smoking campaigns that have had a positive impact on cardiovascular health.
As a nation, we are now much more educated about the benefits of exercise and healthy eating and our healthcare system now combines traditional drug therapy with lifestyle advice and support, such as access to dieticians and physiotherapists.
There have been improvements in medical screening and early-intervention initiatives, which have resulted in a decrease in mortality from illnesses such as cancer.
Our general standard of living has improved and we now have access to better education, housing and nutrition. According to researchers, this has made us happier and healthier.
The impact on life insurance
It's reasonable to assume that as life expectancy increases, life insurance premiums will decrease. Term life insurance products tend to pay out if the policy holder dies within the term period, so with this type of cover insurance providers may see a drop in the number of policies that they do have to pay out on.
However, life insurance does not generally take life expectancy into account, but is rather sold on price alone. There is already intense competition between insurance companies who are not only trying to remain competitive alongside their traditional rivals, but are also now faced with competition from large multinational supermarket chains. The result is a product that is already highly discounted.
Unless there are changes to the way life insurance is sold, it is unlikely that increased life expectancy will affect the cost of life insurance.
Post supplied by Zoe, on behalf of SO Switch. Zoe is a UK finance blogger who loves to find a bargain and save money.