Life expectancy: how long can people from your generation expect to live?

Québec, June 29, 2016 – How many years can a child born in 2015 expect to live? If death rates remain the same as those observed in 2015, the life expectancy of Québec men would be 80.2 years, and of Québec women, 84.1 years. However, since the death rates have been dropping over the past several decades — a trend likely to continue — the number of years actually lived by Quebecers will most likely be greater than the life expectancy for 2015 (period life expectancy).

Period life expectancy, as typically calculated, remains the preferred indicator for measuring mortality in a given period, but when studying the issues associated with an increase in longevity, cohort life expectancy should also be considered. According to the cohort life expectancy reference scenario published today by the Institut de la statistique du Québec, boys born in 2015 could expect to live on average for 89.6 years, and girls for 92.0 years. The increased life expectancy of the cohort approach (of 9 years for boys, and 8 for girls, in the example above) takes into account the improved survival rate from year to year.

The difference between the two approaches for calculating life expectancy is less when starting at the age of 65, but it can still have a significant impact when planning one’s retirement. The life expectancy for both men and women at the age of 65 is about 2 years higher when using the cohort rather than the period approach. For example, men aged 65 in 2015 could expect to live an average of 21.4 years according to the cohort approach, compared to 19.2 years according to the period approach, which maintains constant death rates. Women aged 65 in 2015 could expect to live another 24.1 years on average according to the cohort approach, compared to 22.2 according to the period approach.

According to the reference scenario, it is estimated that 14% of men and 25% of women from the generation born in 2015 could reach the age of 100. However, these numbers drop to 2% of men and 5% of women according to the period approach for the period in question being 2015.

These findings are drawn from an analysis document released together with detailed data on Québec generational mortality, which may be consulted on the Institut de la statistique website. Life expectancy data at birth is available for all generations born or to be born from 1926 to 2026, and life expectancy data at 65 years for all generations since 1861. Since a part of these findings are based on projection hypotheses, the estimates are available for three scenarios: reference, low life expectancy and high life expectancy.


The Institut de la statistique du Québec produces, analyzes and disseminates official, objective and quality statistical information on various aspects of Québec society. It is responsible for carrying out all statistical surveys of general interest. The relevance of its work makes it a strategic ally for decision makers and all those wishing to learn more about Québec.


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