Expectation of life at birth has nearly doubled in the more developed countries in the last 150 yrs, & now often exceeds 70 yrs. Better water supplies & sanitation, the effective control of dangerous infectious & parasitic diseases, & higher living standards & educ'al standards have all contributed to the improvement. In the developed countries, death rates are now very low for all age groups except the older adults. Accidents are the major cause of death of teen-age children & young adults, while neart diseases & cancer are responsible for the deaths of over 50cb of older people. A feature of the reduction in death rates has been the increased excess mortality of M's. There have also been big & rapid reductions in deatn rates in many developing countries, even in the absence of important improvements in living standards. Antibiotics & insecticides have made a major contribution to this movement in the last 20 yrs. It is unlikely that death rates will fall as rapidly in the next few decades as in toe recent past in either developed or developing countries. HA.