Skip to content

One third of babies born in 2013 are expected to live to 100

ONS looks at population and mortality projections for men and women

The latest ONS statistics look at the chances of people living in the UK surviving to their 100th birthday.  According to the principal projection, around 1 in 3 babies born in 2013 will live to celebrate their 100th birthday. The total number of centenarians is projected to rise from 14,000 in 2013 to 111,000 in 2037.

Almost 85,000 people, (31,000 men and 54,000 women) aged 65 in 2013 are expected to celebrate their 100th birthday in 2048. ONS calculates a principal projection, low life expectancy and high life expectancy variants to show the possible variation that could occur in the future. 

Projected numbers of people surviving to their 100th birthday by their age in 2013, UK

Projected numbers of people surviving to their 100th birthday by their age in 2013, UK

Download chart

Around one-third of babies born in 2013 are projected to live to 100

Around one-third of babies born in 2013 in the UK are expected to survive to celebrate their 100th birthday.  A higher percentage of baby girls are expected to reach 100 than baby boys; 39% and 30% respectively. In 2013 there are 797,000 babies less than one year old living in the UK, of these, 123,000 men and 151,000 women are expected to still be alive by age 100 (in 2113) under the principal projection. However the low life expectancy variant projects that there could be just 16,000 men and 31,000 women celebrating their 100th birthday in 2113. Alternatively, the high life expectancy variant projects many more surviving to 100; 259,000 men and 271,000 women.

8% of men and 14% of women age 65 today are projected to live to 100

Of the 374,000 men and 393,000 women aged 65 this year (2013), 8% and 14% respectively are expected to survive to their 100th birthdays according to the principal projection, around 85,000 in total. The low life expectancy variant projects 49,000 and the high life expectancy variant projects 130,000 65 year olds surviving to age 100.

As we project further into the future, the more uncertain the figures are, for instance the variation for a 65 year old today is less than for a 20 year old but more than for an 80 year old. The size of a birth cohort has an impact on the number of people surviving 100 years later. For example the peak in the chart at around age 66 in 2013 relates to the post Second World War peak in births  and the dip at around age 12 in 2013 relates to the low point in fertility in 2001.

There are an estimated 14,000 centenarians in the UK today

The mid-year population estimate of centenarians was just 600 in 1961 and has increased every year since then. In 2013 the projected numbers of centenarians from the three scenarios (principal, high life expectancy and low life expectancy) are similar, at around 14,000 (2,000 men and 12,000 women). As the projection moves further into the future the range in the estimated numbers from the three scenarios widens, so that by 2037 there could be 77,000 (low life expectancy), 111,000 (principal) or 156,000 (high life expectancy) people aged 100 or more.

More women expected to become centenarians than men

The estimates and projections for women centenarians are higher than for men in all years. The estimated number of female centenarians has risen from 500 in 1961 to almost 12,000 in 2013 and this figure is projected to reach 77,000 by 2037 and 293,000 by 2062 (principal projection). Males, although a lot lower in absolute numbers, have also experienced a rapid rise, from an estimated 90 centenarians in 1961 to 2,000 in 2013, and are projected to reach 34,000 by 2037 and 163,000 by 2062 (principal projection).

Where can I find out more about life expectancy statistics?

These statistics were analysed by the Demographic Analysis Unit at the ONS using data from 2012-based Historic and Projected Mortality Data. If you’d like to find out more about this release read the statistical bulletin or view the infographic. If you have any comments or suggestions, we’d like to hear them! Please email us at: better.info@ons.gsi.gov.uk

Categories: Population, Deaths, Life Expectancies, Projected Life Expectancy, Ageing, Older People, Life Tables
Content from the Office for National Statistics.
© Crown Copyright applies unless otherwise stated.