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How Long Did People Expect To Live A Hundred Years Ago Compared With Today?

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Kath Senior answered
Life expectancy for children born in the UK has changed dramatically during the last 100 years. A girl born in 1901 could expect to live an average of 49 years; a boy an average of 45 years.

This didn't mean that no one ever got older than this – the ages are low because so many young babies died. Infant mortality was extremely high and large numbers of children died before their first birthday.

Today, we have better sanitation, better living conditions, better medicine and a better diet and very few children die before they are one year old. So, today, the average age that a boy born can expect to live is 76 years and a girl can expect to live an average of 81 years.

The downside of this improvement is that the population is now 'top heavy' with more older people than younger people and this is affecting all aspects of society, including employment, housing and health care.

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