Thursday, February 18, 2010

Life Expectancy: The difference between male and female

In this post on FlowingData, some interesting statistics are shown about life expectancy in the US.

Ever wondered why insurance companies have higher rates for men than women? The main reason is that on average, women live longer than men. In other words, the risk of dying for a man of, say 50, is higher than for a woman of that age.

Why is this? I have some ideas, but no means to prove them. What can be studied from the data is the evolution of life expectancy and the consequences of this evolution. When looking at US data for the last 20 years, simple (linear) extrapolation tells us that in 2047, men and women will have the same average age. Looking at the data for Belgium, the year is 2074.

I will probably be long dead by then, but according to this linear extrapolation, my grandchildren will have children that have life expectancies of 93 years!

I agree, linear extrapolation is an approximation. But the tendency is there: men's life expectancy is getter higher at a slightly faster pace than women's.

More about this topic (including some cool graphs) later.

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