Life Expectancy–1911 and 2011

16-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, August 9, 1911: Today is passing and my opportunity for writing anything about it is passing with it. It is not necessary to jot down the happenings of every occurrence.

Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’ll tell you about some statistics I found on the Center for Disease Control website. I’ve often heard that people live longer now than they used to, and I wondered how much longer they lived.

Life expectancy at birth from 1911 to 2011. At all years the life expectancy is higher for females than males. In 1911 the life expectancy at birth for females was 53 years; for males it was 50 years.

Grandma was born in 1895. I don’t have data for people born in 1895, but assume that the life expectancy was even lower then than in 1911. Grandma lived longer than average.  She died in 1981 when she was 85-years-old.

Since more children died shortly after birth a hundred years ago than today, I thought that might affect the birth life expectancies. So I also checked the life expectancy at age 60.In 1911 a 60-year-old female could expect to live 15 more years; a male could expect to live 14 more years. In 2011 a 60-year-old female can expect to live 24 more years and a male can expect to live 21 more years. Life expectancy at age 60 for the years between 1911 and 2011. At all years the life expectancy is higher for females.(For those who care–The 2011 numbers are for the most recent available year. The Center for Disease Control has not yet released the 2011 life expectancy tables, so those estimates may go up or down slightly after they becomes available.)