When Will I Die ?

There are a number of factors which will affect when you die but primarily : your current age, your lifestyle and where you live. Let's investigate these different factors.

When Will I Die

Your Current Age

That's right. You may be surprised to know that the older you are the more likely you are to be closer to your death. One of the fascinating things about the research undertaken on the death predictor was that this really turned out to be the case. There's a technical name for working this out and it's called Age-specific Mortality Rate or ASMR. This basically means that we consider the total number of deaths per year for a given age. So, for someone aged 40, there would be a probability of that person dying within the next year. That probability will be higher than someone, say, aged 10.

Actual statistics on this vary depending on where you live in the world and your lifestyle and so on. However, to give you some idea if you are aged 20, then in a developed country you would have a probability of dying in the next 12 months of around 0.08%. Which means that in every 1,000 people, slightly less than one person is likely to die. It's very low. At age 60, then the probability of dying in the next year is tenfold at around 1%. That means that in every 1,000 people, roughly 10 would be expected to die within the year.

Where you live

The country you live in can have a significant bearing on how long you will live. Clearly, in developed countries where medical care is better, there is more chance of making it through to old age. However, there are other factors. As a guideline, figures from the World Health Organisation (WHO) consider the life expectancy as follows :

Country Life Expectancy (Years) Global Rank
Japan 83 1
Spain 82 4
Italy 82 6
United Kingdom 81 20
Germany 81 24
United States 79 31
China 76 53
Brazil 75 67
Russia 70 110
India 68 125
Ethiopia 64 141
Nigeria 54 177

Even within Western developed countries there is a difference between life expectancy. However, the difference between developed countries and third world countries is substantial.

Gender and life expectancy

The figures quoted above are for both men and women. However, depending on the country there is a difference between the life expectancy depending on your gender. On a worldwide basis, according to the UN, the average life expectancy at birth across both genders was 71 years. However, men are expected to only live until 68 years on average and women will live much longer until 72 years. Again, this will vary depending on where you live and in some countries the difference is greater than others. For example, in Russia, women can be expected to live on average 11 years longer than men. In the United States, that's just under 5 years. In fact, there are only a few countries in the world where men are expected to live longer than women.

Country Additional Years Women Rank
Japan 6.5 47
Spain 5.6 72
Italy 4.9 86
United Kingdom 3.9 128
Germany 4.8 89
United States 4.8 95
China 3 155
Brazil 7.5 21
Russia 11.4 3
India 2.8 166
Ethiopia 3.7 137
Nigeria 0.6 197

Calculating likelihood of death

It is therefore possible to statistically calculate when you would be expected to die based solely on your current age, where you live and your gender. It would provide a statistically accurate result based on that information alone. For example, if you were a 40 year old male living in the United States then you would be expected to live until 80 and have an increasing risk of death until and after that age.

The likelihood of living substantially longer than average depends on a very large number of factors and clearly diet and lifestyle will start to play a big part. Just because the average life expectancy may be 80 years, that doesn't mean of course that everyone will suddenly die before 81. The average is just that and many people now live until 100 or more. This statistical variation means that some countries have a broader spread of age related deaths than others but it would be difficult to take that into account in a death predictor !

Why is there such a difference ?

Healthcare is often considered to be one of the primary factors. By healthcare, we aren't just talking about access to hospitals and doctors. The ability of young children to have access to immunisation and even basic drugs such as antibiotics plays a major role. As an interesting comparison, let's look at the number of hospital beds related to life expectancy by country. The logic being that the more beds there are, the likelihood that there's increased healthcare spending. By using our selected list of countries above, let's see how the list compares on life expectancy directly against the number of hospital beds per 1,000 people (OECD).

Country Rank (Hospital Beds) Rank (Life Expectancy)
Japan 1 1
Spain 26 4
Italy 23 6
United Kingdom 30 20
Germany 4 24
United States 37 31
China 20 53
Russia 3 110

The basic statistics would indicate very little correlation between hospital beds and life expectancy. In fact, if you consider simply Germany and Spain then the stats would prove the opposite. It's difficult, if not impossible, to draw conclusions from such basic numbers. This is partly because the effect of a hospital bed on someone in older age against the effect of a vaccination in a child is statistically so much smaller. To make that clearer, a hospital bed provided to someone in their sixties for an operation may increase the lifespan by perhaps 10 or 20 years. A vaccination in a child against a deadly disease may increase the lifespan by an entire life. From a stats point of view the effect of a relatively cheap vaccination against the cost of a hospital bed is substantial. The result being that a substantially increased investment in healthcare in a developed Western country will have a lower effect on life expectancy than a very small increase in a third world country.

The bottom line is that it is therefore difficult to use healthcare spending (or indeed hospital beds) to draw a direct link between exact increases in life expectancy and spend.

How this data alters the Death Predictor results

It doesn't. The test doesn't consider starting age and it's all just a bit of fun.

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