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Longevity: Past, Present and Future

James W. Vaupel Directeur fondateur, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research ; membre scientifique, Max Planck Society for the Advancement of Science. Contact : jwv@demogr.mpg.de


The rise of longevity since 1840 is remarkable. In France, life expectancy doubled from 40 in 1840 to 82 today. Analysis of the nature of this increase, including the improvements in survival at older ages, sheds new light on the economic, social and health transformations of the past two centuries. The future of longevity may be as remarkable as the past. Demographers, actuaries, gerontologists and other experts on mortality disagree widely about whether life expectancy is approaching a looming limit or will continue to increase at least as rapidly as in the past. Better methods of forecasting are needed to anticipate coming economic, social and health changes.


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Footnotes

1   CRISPR : courtes répétitions palindromiques groupées et régulièrement espacées ; famille de séquences répétées dans l'ADN.


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