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Centenarians: Daily Mail, 1 October 2008

An article in the Daily Mail quoted ONS suggesting that one in three people born in 2001 would live to be 100. Unfortunately there was an error in the news release that had been quoted. Karen Dunnell wrote to point out the error and apologise for it.


Dear Sir,

In your 1st October edition you reported figures from an ONS News Release saying that one in three primary school children people born in 2001 will reach 100. I regret that our release was wrong and over-stated this proportion. We failed to make clear that the proportion of one in three is a long term projection for the proportion of people born in 2001 who having reached age 85 (in 2086) will then survive from 85 to 100. Our current projection is that 22 per cent of males born in 2001 and 27 per cent of females will reach 100. These are still significant proportions - more than a fifth of males and a quarter of females - but less than the figure we originally quoted. I apologise for this error and wish to reassure your readers that we will continue to prepare and report population projections carefully. These projections are clearly important in planning for the care of everyone in society.

Yours faithfully,

Karen Dunnell
National Statistician
Government Buildings
Cardiff Road
NP10 8XG


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