Of All the People That Have Lived at Least 65 Years, How Many are Alive Now?

Believe it or not, half of all the people in history to have reached age 65 are alive right now. The human life span has increased since prehistoric times when it measured about 33 years in the Upper Paleolithic period to an estimated 67.2 years in 2010. This is an average, of course. The People's Republic of China, for example, has a higher life expectancy of 84.4 years.

The Facts of Life:

  • The oldest documented person lived to be 122 — a French woman named Jeanne Calment. She died in 1997.

  • Women live longer than men — 5 to 10 years longer. Of the living people older than 100 years, 85% are women.

  • The world reproductive rate is on the decline, currently at 2.6 babies per woman. The world's population sits at about 6.8 billion.

  • Even in such wealthy countries as Japan, Germany and France, there are fewer than two people working to support government financing for each retired person.
More Info: Meacham's Posterous; Time; Census

Discussion Comments


The Bible is a book of fairy tales and myths mostly borrowed from other religions. There is absolutely no historical documentation for any of it because it is fiction.

Statisticians can easily estimate average life expectancy over time. I'll explain it to you clearly as long as you have at least a semester of calculus, a year of differential equations, and classes in normal and abnormal statistics. Do you have the requisite education for the mathematics?


"Documented historical" accounts in the bible? I need to do some research. The stories are a good read, but have never seen the documents to back them up. I need to go to the library, and ask my pastor.


Prove your statement. If you disavow documented, historical accounts in the Bible which list men who have lived for much longer than 122 years, then back up what you say regarding the length of life for those 65 years old with documented factual information, not "estimates" nor baseless statements taken from someone else who used "logical guesses" to come up with prehistoric (?) figures.

Post your comments
Forgot password?