Women and Life Expectancy, White women born in 1900 were expected to live until age 49, and of those women born in that decade, 12 percent would live to be age 65 and 4 percent to age 85. For African American women born in 1900, life was short. Their life expectancy was only 34 years, and only 11 of those women would make it to age 65, and five percent would turn 85. For those women born in 1910, white women on average lived until age 52 and African American women to age 38. It would not be until the 1950’s that African American women would live to reach age 63. In 1950, white women had a life expectancy of 72. For those women born in 1950, 15 percent would reach age 65, and five percent of white women would make it to their 85th birthdays, and six percent of African American women would reach age 85. Between 1900 and 1950 only 12 percent of white women would live to reach age 65 and 11 percent of African American women would live to age 65.
By the year 2000, White women had a life expectancy women and Life Expectancy of 80 years and African American woman were expected to live to age 75.
What the data shows us that as technology improves and advancement in medicine and medical procedures grow, the life expectancy of men and women expand. Also, improved elder care found in nursing homes, convalescent homes, memory care facilities and assisted living facilities have all helped to improve the average life expectancy. An excellent example of this is the Gregor Mendel’s genetic experiment in 1866 – the first scientific description of genes and how they work. Today, we understand a fair bit more about genetics, but there is much left to learn. As time passes, those people born today, well have a longer life expectancy than that of their parents. It is entirely possible that as Americans, we could top the century mark for life expectancy for all men, women, and every heritage that calls the US home. What that means is that we must look to the future to make sure that we have in place the resources to meet our needs as we age. Those include savings, insurance, and a legal framework that helps us to enjoy the later years of our life, whatever our life expectancy should be.