New research on Swedish mortality data strongly suggests that the maximum age at which people die has been steadily increasing since the middle of the 19th century. In the earliest period with reliable data, the oldest maximum age at death was around 100. Last year in Sweden that was at 108, and is still growing.
University of California at Berkeley’s John Wilmouth told the Associated Press, “I don’t expect modern medical breakthroughs that will allow people to live to 200 or something.”
I think he’s wrong on that and it should be noted that researchers throughout the 20th century made predictions about where maximum life expectancy would finally stop increasing, most of whom saw their estimates surpassed in their own life time. Going from 108 to 200 in maximum life span would be quite a leap, but we have seen life expectancy come close to doubling in many parts of the world in less than a century thanks to medical advances. It is not inconceivable that in the next 20 to 30 years medical advances might permit maximum life spans of 200 or more.
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