YEARS have been knocked off official projections of children’s life expectancies in the UK, an Office for National Statistics (ONS) report shows.
A baby girl born in 2019 is now expected to celebrate three fewer birthdays on average, than under previous calculations.
Official 2014 data thought that girl would make it to 93.6. Now the figure is 90.4. The report also slashed the likelihood of children reaching 100.
Although life expectancies have been and are still improving, experts say previous estimates were too high. The improvement is much smaller than previously thought, as part of a widely acknowledged slowdown in life expectancy since 2011.
In 2018, life expectancy growth stalled for the first time in more than 30 years. This has led statisticians to re-evaluate their assumptions about future improvements in life expectancy, resulting in the figures released.
The ONS report calculates the impact of this less-rosy picture on children’s prospects of a long life.
So a boy born in 2019 is now expected to live for 87.8 years. But the 2016 data thought he would reach 89.7 and the 2014 data said 91.1.
And looking to the future, to children born in 2043, there is a dramatic drop in the chances of reaching 100.
The latest report says, 20.8% of newborn boys are expected to reach 100 while 26.1% of newborn girls are expected to reach 100. The projections two years ago thought 34.1% of newborn boys would reach 100 and 40.2% of newborn girls would reach 100.