Unexpectedly Intriguing!
April 12, 2005

I previously asked the question How Long Will You Live?, but in doing so, I based my corresponding calculator on data that had two key flaws that were pointed out by an alert reader: First, it did not take changing trends in life expectancy into account and second, the data was somewhat dated. It's still a great question, and one that I'm still willing to take on in the form of a new calculator to represent the data from a much more current and appropriate source: The United States Life Tables, 2002, which is available online as a 1MB PDF document. I would very much like to thank my knowledgeable reader for directing me to this source.

About the Life Table

The National Center for Health Statistics publishes the United States Life Tables, which provides values that show the expected mortality experience of a hypothetical group of infants born at the same time (also called a "cohort"). Life tables are frequently used to forecast the average remaining life expectancy of individuals who reach a specific age. The United States Life Table, 2002 contains the most recently published data for remaining life expectancy. So, now its time to find out, statistically speaking, how much time you have left!

The Calculator

Age Data
Input Data Values
Your Current Age (Years)




Remaining Life Expectancy
Calculated Results Values
Average Number of Years Remaining for a Man
Average Number of Years Remaining for a Woman

The Math Behind the Calculator

I've presented the tabulated data from the United States Life Tables, 2002, specifically Table 2 (Men) and Table 3 (Women) below in graphical format, along with the simplified math formulas for both groups that may be used to represent each set of data mathematically. Average Remaining Life Expectancy, U.S. Men and Women

Click the chart for a larger image.

Is This Data Good Enough?

While the values calculated above correspond with the correct average remaining life expectancy data published by the NCHS, the question remains of whether these numbers are good enough to help you plan for the rest of your life. What if you're healthier than average, and may expect to live for much longer? What if you're not? There are a lot of individual factors that may affect your personal results, and the best source of answering these questions that I've found on the web is the Alliance for Aging Research's Living to 100 Calculator. If you haven't already, check it out!

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