The future of longevity: background and perspectives


In many developed countries, including Switzerland, the ongoing increase in life expectancy is driven by the mortality decline among older persons. This has important consequences for both the provision of health care and the management of pension funds.
In this context, the Swiss Federal Office of Statistics mandated a small group of experts to provide a critical review on the future evolution of mortality in developed countries. The report starts with an analysis of the past trends in life expectancy. Longevity is defined here as the duration (or the length) of life as observed in population or in individuals. The oldest and still most used indicators of longevity are life expectancy at birth (LE0) at a population level, and maximum life span (MLS) at the individual level (page 9) and in healthy life expectancy (page 19). A discussion on the future evolution of mortality and health is then presented (page 27). A set of recommendations is finally proposed (page 39).