The Probability of Dying Within One Year by Age and Sex (Singapore)

We all know that death is unpredictable (unless you seek it).

You could live to be a centenarian (someone who lives till 100 years old) or have a shorter life than normally expected.

Who knows..

But today, we’re going to look at the data which shows us the chances of death happening by the next year, based on age and sex.

So, read on!

The Probability of Dying Within One Year in Singapore

We’re looking at the data from the Complete Life Tables, Department of Statistics Singapore. It looks at key trends in the Singapore Resident Population in 2019 (latest published information as of 3 Mar 2021).

Here’s are 3 graphs to illustrate this data from Age 0 to 49, Age 50 to 99, and from Age 0 – 99 (overview):

probability of death within one year by age and sex (age 0 to 49)
probability of death within one year by age and sex (age 50 to 99)
probability of death within one year by age and sex (age 0 to 99)

Commentary on Males

When the male baby is born, the probability of death starts higher at 0.218% and drops off significantly to 0.011% in the next year. It continues to decrease at a slower rate until Age 7 (0.005%) when it remains constant till Age 11. It then continues to rise until Age 23 (0.037%) when it starts dipping till Age 27 (0.033%). After that point, the risk of death rises continuously. At Age 50 (0.231%) is when the probability surpasses that of the newborn. At Age 99, the probability of death within a year is 30.602%.

Commentary on Females

Similarly, the probability of death starts higher at 0.186% and drops off sharply to 0.014% the next year. It decreases slowly until Age 13 (0.005%). After that, it rises all the way. Only at Age 53 (0.193%) does the probability surpasses that of the newborn. At Age 99, the probability of dying within a year is 26.12%.

Raw Data: Probability of Dying Between Exact Age X and Age X+1 (%)

Age (X) 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56 57 58 59 60 61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76 77 78 79 80 81 82 83 84 85 86 87 88 89 90 91 92 93 94 95 96 97 98 99

Zooming Out to the Big Picture

To most, the figures above only serve as interesting facts. They don’t mean much.

But when we look at the various death statistics in Singapore, we start to understand how the Singapore population is “performing” as a whole.

The top 3 causes of death in Singapore are cancer, pneumonia and ischaemic heart diseases. Collectively, they make up 67.90% of all deaths that happen.

causes of death in singapore

Although we’re spending more years in bad health now, there’s a silver lining. The life expectancy in Singapore has been increasing over the years.

average life expectancy in singapore chart

Currently, it’s at 83.6 years and it’s expected to increase to 85.4 years in 2040.

current and future life expectancy in singapore

Do All These Matter?

Yes, to a certain extent.

That extent is that these statistics show the overview of the population and not how one’s life will play out.

When we take a micro view of it, it wouldn’t mean much. However, when we zoom out and consider other aspects, there are certain things we can plan for.

Firstly, we should expect life to be smooth-sailing. We can likely live to a ripe old age with a longer life expectancy. What does that mean? We need to pay more attention to retirement planning and try to save and accumulate more now. This is because of the extended retirement period. If you don’t have enough when that time comes, it can be pretty difficult to enjoy the rest of your remaining days.

Secondly, it doesn’t mean that nothing will happen. While we can adopt healthy living habits to reduce the chances of critical illnesses like cancer, we can’t eliminate the possibility of it happening. The statistics and facts show that cancer rates have been increasing over the years and the likelihood of getting cancer by age 75 is 1 out of 4-5.

lifetime risk of cancer in singapore

And premature death can always happen because of these illnesses/diseases or external causes.

With all that being said, there’s one aspect that’s within your control.

You can eliminate the risk of a financial disaster when such adverse events happen.

And that’s from having adequate life insurance (term plans, whole life plans and early critical illness plans) and medical insurance (MediShield Life and Integrated Shield Plan).

When you plan for the good and bad things in life that can happen, you’ll be more ready to face whatever life throws at you.

As such, you don’t need to constantly worry about the future and just dedicate your time to appreciate the present.

Abram Lim

With over 7 years of experience in the financial advisory industry, and previous stints in Citibank and UOB, Abram eagerly shares his knowledge by publishing research-backed articles. Learn more about Abram