Re: Life expectancy increasing rapidly

Anders Sandberg (
09 Dec 1998 12:56:20 +0100

Robin Hanson <> writes:

> The AP/Albany Times Union reports that the "most dramatic
> improvement was among black males, whose life expectancy
> increased by 1.2 years to 67.3 years." Life expectancy for black
> females increased by half a year to 74.7, and for white females
> by one-tenth of a year to 79.3. White males saw a four-tenths of
> a year improvement to 74.3 years.

Still a bit away from the breakeven point, but interesting enough. A 4/10 increase in life expectancy per year would, assuming steady progress give an expectation of 0.4x + (0.4^2) x + (0.4^3)x + ... = 1.66 x more years if x are the numbers of "naturally" remaining years for a given person, since life extending progress would occur during the extra years given by the initial developments. In order to reach the breakeven point, we of course need more than one extra year per year - something the black males got at least this year (time to change race? :-).

OK, I think Robin and everybody else can pick this (semiserious) analysis apart at the seams, but nevertheless the CDC data are good news.

Anders Sandberg                                      Towards Ascension!                  
GCS/M/S/O d++ -p+ c++++ !l u+ e++ m++ s+/+ n--- h+/* f+ g+ w++ t+ r+ !y