...is a fairly nondescript number. It’s not the halfway point between 40 and 50; it’s not the answer to life, the universe and everything; it’s not even a prime number.
However, there’s one way of looking at 46 that makes it rather special – it means I’ve survived yet another year.
Not that being 45 was particularly tough – as 12-month periods go, it’s actually been a lot less hassle that most.
The point I’m making is, statistically, once we get past the age of about 10 or so, with each passing year, the chances of us dying increases.
It appears I’ve outlived Freddie Mercury, Vlad the Impaler and Henry IV of England, all of whom kicked the bucket aged 45.
I’ve also passed the average life expectancy for a man in Mozambique (38.3), Swaziland (39.8), Sierra Leone (41), Zambia (42.1), Lesotho (42.9), Central African Republic (43.3), Zimbabwe (43.8), Afghanistan (43.9), Rwanda (44.6), Liberia (44.8), Guinea-Bissau (44.9), and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (45.2).
Where mortality is concerned, within the UK there are regional variations. The average man born in England will live to 78.6, while the average man born in Scotland will only live to 75.9. I haven’t managed to find out what effect living in Scotland will have on a man originally born in England – other than personal experience leads me to believe that entering certain pubs in Scotland with an English accent might lead to a significant shortening of life expectancy.
One thing’s for certain, though – being this age makes me slightly more obsessed with mortality statistics...