More than a quarter of British girls born in 20 years’ time will live to be at least 100 years old, according to new estimates.
At present, people who reach 100 get a signed birthday card from the Queen.
But the royal family may need to rethink the policy going forward as the Office for National Statistics (ONS) predicts a quarter of girls born in just over 20 years’ time will live to be centenarians, as will one in five baby boys.
New projections from the ONS estimate 13.6% of boys and 19% of girls born in the UK in 2020 are expected to live to at least 100.
This is expected to increase to 20.9% of boys and 27% of girls born in 2045.
The new ONS projections on life expectancies in the UK suggest boys born in the UK in 2020 can expect to live on average to age 87.3 years and girls to 90.2 years.
But health analysts said the data shows a child born in the UK in 2020 will die nearly five years earlier than previously predicted.
David Finch, assistant director of healthy lives at the Health Foundation think tank, said: “Today’s figures show that children born today can still expect to live longer than their parents.
“However, people living in the UK today are not expected to live for as long as previously predicted.
“The unprecedented increase in deaths caused by Covid-19 should end as we move beyond the pandemic, but there will be a lasting impact from the decade of stalling life expectancy prior to the pandemic.
“Girls born in 2020 are now expected to die 4.8 years earlier than was expected in 2012, and boys, 4.5 years earlier.
“The Government faces a massive challenge in delivering its promise to improve life expectancy for people in the UK.
“A whole-Government approach is required if we are to see significant progress, including in areas that contribute to health, such as having more secure employment, good quality homes and adequate welfare support for those who are struggling.
“Improving health needs to be a key consideration in all Government policy and investment decisions, the vast majority of which have the potential to help or hinder efforts.
“The pandemic has laid bare the extent of underlying poor health in the UK, with tragic consequences. Good health is vital to the country’s prosperity and Government cannot delay any further in investing in our future.”
The ONS estimates also state that people aged 65 in the UK in 2020 can expect to live on average a further 19.7 years for men and 22.0 years for women.