I was Googling around on this overcast day looking for some statistics to support a post I want to write about immigration when I stumbled on some striking numbers that rather surprised me. Life expectancy for U. S. white males in 1900 was 47; in 2000 it was 75, a dramatic increase [it is even higher now.] But the life expectancy for men 84 [that's me] has increased in the past 110 years by only between 4 and 5 years. Which means that if you were born in 1816 and managed make it to 84 by 1900, your life expectancy was only five or so years less than it is if, like me, you were born in 1933 and are now 84. In a century, all that high-powered medicine has only added a few more years to those who make it to 84. The big difference, of course, is in how many of us do in fact make it this far.
By the way, I checked. Right now, my life expectancy is 6.2 years, which means I figure [on average] to live to be 90. But if I make it to 90, my life expectancy will be [roughly] 4,4 years, so I will have a pretty good chance of making it to 95. And of course if I make it to 95, odds are I will live almost to 98.
Well, enough of these morbidity speculations. Later on I will explain what got me started on all of this.