Life expectancy in the UK has stopped improving for the first time since records began back in 1982.
For many people across the world, quality of life has improved in a number of ways over the past couple of centuries. Breakthroughs and advancements in healthcare and technology mean that people are living longer and longer. In fact, some experts believe that the first person to ever live to be 150-years-old is already walking among us.
It's not unfathomable to think that perhaps the majority of us currently in our 20s or 30s will easily break the 100-year threshold, or is it? The Office for National Statistics (ONS) has recently discovered that the progression of life expectancy for both men and women in the United Kingdom has ground to a halt. It has been trending constantly upwards for the past 36 years since records began.
BBC reported the ONS's findings, revealing that the data collected between 2015 and 2017 shows a man's life expectancy to currently be 79.2 years and a woman's to be slightly higher at 82.9 years. In England, those numbers have remained the same, which is worrying enough, but in Wales and Scotland, the figures have actually decreased. This is following on from the number increasing by around two months every single year, until 2011 when improvements began to slow.
There are a number of different theories as to why the halt in improving life expectancy might be. One is that the number can't simply continue to increase forever, and it has reached a point where it is starting to flatten out. However, countries like Japan and Switzerland have higher life expectancies than that of the United Kingdom so there is definitely still room for improvement.
Other more damning theories include the cutting of certain budgets and public services in the UK leading to its citizens not living as long. If the trend in life expectancy for men and women does indeed flatten out like it seems to be doing, or even worse starts to decrease, then those are areas that will need to be looked at. It is also an issue that other countries should take note of as the UK likely isn't the only nation noticing this trend.