Looking at the obits in the Cedar Rapids Gazette today, I see that several people younger than I have died this week.
Lots of things tend to make me feel old. Aches and pains. Bike rides. Winters that are not nearly as fun as they once were.
And reading about people younger than I dying.
Being as old as the Super Bowl (LIII), I have already passed some age milestones. It was sad the day that Jamie Moyer retired from Major League Baseball at around age 50. After that, around 2012, I was officially older than any guy in the Major Leagues.
Now, Iowa’s newest elected member of Congress, Abby Finkenauer, is younger than my oldest child.
Reading those things in today’s news got me wondering: Just how old am I? Specifically, just how old am I compared to the rest of the world? How many people are younger or older than I am?
Yes, someone has charted it, and put it on the Internet. Of course they have.
Two someones, actually.
First, a man named Nathan Yau researched U.S. statistics to determine how old each of us is compared to the rest of us. Then, using those guidelines, a blogger named Ramon Martinez created a similar but more complex chart which allows you to compare your age to others throughout the world or any specific country.
According to Yau’s chart, at my age (53, for those of you who don’t speak Roman Numeral), I am older than 71 percent or so of all Americans. My ever-whitening hair would agree.
But Martinez allows me to compare myself to everyone in the world. According to his chart, I am older than 80 percent of the people in the world.
The difference between the two charts is significant because it indicates the difference in life expectancy from country to country. And Martinez includes virtually every country in the globe in is chart. The lower the percentage of people you are older than, the longer the life expectancy of that country’s population.
For example, in war-ravaged and Taliban-mismanaged Afghanistan, a person who lives to be 53 years old is older than 93 percent of the population of that country.
Most developed countries have similar numbers to the U.S., while Third World countries are more likely to resemble Afghanistan.
And of course, while government, technology and society are indeed factors in life expectancy, there are also significant factors that also affect those numbers. For example, a man who chain smokes while driving too fast on a snowy highway to rendezvous with accomplices planning to rob a mob boss is likely to experience a shorter life expectancy than most others, regardless of where he lives.
If you want to know more about how old you are compared to me and the rest of the country (or the world), click on the blue links above. If you want to live long enough to ponder how old you are, make better decisions than the man in the preceding paragraph.