Throughout the world, the average life expectancy at birth in 2015 was 71.4 years, according to the latest data from the World Health Organization. The highest was in Japan at 83.7. For most high-income countries life expectancy teeters around 80 years of age.
Life expectancy does increase as you get older, as an actuarial life table demonstrates, but even when you're in your 90s, reaching 100 isn't necessary likely. American 95-year olds in 2014 had a life expectancy of 98, according to data from the Social Security Administration. In 2011, the U.K.'s Department of Work and Pensions broke down the odds of making it to 100 years of age and found that your chances increase the later you are born but even someone born in 2011, the last year included in the analysis, only has a 29.9 percent chance of making it.
That said, the rich definitely outlive the poor. As research has repeatedly demonstrated, there is "life expectancy gap" based on socioeconomic background. One 2017 study from the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that people in rich areas in the U.S. can expect to outlive those in poor areas by at least 20 years.
And that gap is growing. "The rich are enjoying unprecedented longevity," reports Vox, citing another finding about the U.S. from the JAMA in 2016. "From 2001 to 2014, the richest Americans gained about five years of longevity, while life expectancy for the poor didn't budge." The life expectancy of wealthy 50-year-old women jumped more than five years between 1980 and 2010, according to the Washington Post. But for women at that age earning less than average, it actually dropped.
For the millionaires in this survey, of course, only time will tell. But having money increases their chances. As a 28-year-old participant from Switzerland puts it, "If I could use my wealth to live forever, I would."
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