Life Expectancy Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Life Expectancy, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Life Expectancy?

“The amount of time that someone is predicted to live, as calculated by actuarial tables. Insurance companies use a person’s life expectancy to decide the premium size that the person should have to pay.

History and Meaning of Life Expectancy

The term "Life Expectancy" refers to the statistical measure of the average time a person is expected to live based on the year they were born, current age, gender, and other factors such as health status, lifestyle, and medical history. Life expectancy has been used widely as an important indicator of the health and well-being of populations and has been used to track changes in the health status of societies over time.

The concept of life expectancy has been around for centuries, and it has evolved significantly as our understanding of health and medicine has advanced. Early estimates of life expectancy were based on observations of crude birth and death rates, which did not take into account demographic variations or medical advancements.

With the advent of modern medicine and advancements in public health, life expectancy began to rise rapidly in the twentieth century, resulting in significant improvements in health outcomes and a decline in mortality rates.

Examples of Life Expectancy

  1. According to the World Health Organization, the global life expectancy in 2020 was 73 years.

  2. Women generally have a higher life expectancy than men, with an average of five years more.

  3. Life expectancy is often used by policymakers to assess the impact of public health policies, such as vaccination programs or anti-smoking campaigns.

  4. A person's life expectancy can be affected by their occupation, exposure to environmental pollutants or toxins, and lifestyle factors like diet and exercise.

Legal Terms Similar to Life Expectancy

  1. Actuarial Tables: These are statistical models used by insurance companies to calculate premiums and assess risk based on an individual's life expectancy.

  2. Mortality Rate: This refers to the number of deaths in a population over a given period and is often used to calculate life expectancy.

  3. Life Insurance: This is a type of insurance policy that pays out a sum of money to a designated beneficiary upon the death of the insured person. Life insurance policies are often based on actuarial calculations of life expectancy.