Unit 6 Exercise 3

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How long will I live for?

Everyone wonders about this from time to time, but there is no answer for each individual person. However, the World Health Organization (WHO) has figures for life expectancy from the earliest times.

Thousands of years ago, in pre-history, there were dangers and people lived for about 20 years. The Ancient Egyptians, in around 3000 BCE, had an average life expectancy of 25. Although they knew about medicine, the Ancient Greeks only lived for an extra three years. In 0 CE, at the time of the Roman Empire, people died at 28 on average.

In the Middle Ages, around 1400 CE, a variety of food was available and the average age at death increased to 33. The average continued to rise over the next 200 years. In the Renaissance, at the time of Michelangelo, people lived until they were 37.

the Victorian Age, from around 1850 CE, doctors began to save more children at birth and life expectancy rose to 45.

the beginning of the 20th century, average life expectancy was 50, but it started to rise quickly. The reason was cleaner houses, cleaner water and a diet. By 1950 CE, the average age of death was 65.

Thanks to medical advances, particularly the use of antibiotics, life expectancy continued to rise. At the start of the 21st century, it was 79.

What about the future? Life expectancy is rising, but not as quickly as in the 20th century. By 2050 CE, scientists predict that it will be 85, but it will take 500 years to get to the magic age of 100.