Children born today might one day need a much larger cake to celebrate their birthdays. A new analysis suggests that nearly 40 percent of girls born in Great Britain in 2013 will live to see 100.
That number, experts say, is likely to be similar in other first world countries, where life expectancies have been steadily increasing. By 2060, approximately 60 percent of girls born in the UK will live to be 100, according to the analysis, which was published by Britain's Office of National Statistics.
"These UK trends are mirrored around the world," John Appleby, chief economist with London's King's Fund, writes in an editorial published in the British Medical Journal Wednesday. "Since 1970, there have been significant increases in life expectancy in virtually all countries."
According to the analysis, just 13 percent of females born in 1951 are expected to be alive in 2051. Boys will see a similar increase in life expectancy, but males' life expectancies lag several years behind females'.
According to the United Nations, the average life expectancy for a child born between 2010 and 2015 is 78.8 years for people born in the United States. In the United Kingdom, that number is 80.4 years.
Appleby suggests that there may be a drawback to the fact that people are beginning to live longer.
"Previous gains in healthy life expectancy have more to do with reductions in mortality than reductions in years lived in disability," he writes. "Living longer is a good thing but not much fun if those extra hers are lived in pain and discomfort."