Humans will have more than a one in ten chance of reaching a lifespan of 130 years by the end of the century, scientists have calculated.

Researchers say the rising numbers of supercentenarians, people aged 110 or over, has increased the likelihood of people living well beyond 122 years, the current world record.

Enhanced nutrition, cleaner water and improvements in medicine could result in a lifespan of 125 years, or even 130, by the end of the century, according to academics.

Experts at the University of Washington tracked supercentenarians from ten European countries, including the UK, along with Canada, Japan and the US. 

Using the International Database on Longevity created by the Max Planck Institute in Germany, researchers worked out projections for the maximum reported age at death in all 13 countries from 2020 through 2100.

They showed it is 99 per cent and 68 per cent likely to be at least 124 or 127 respectively, with a 13 per cent chance of 130. However, anyone reaching 135 in the next eight decades is "extremely unlikely", say the study authors.

Michael Pearce, a statistician at the University of Washington, said: "People are fascinated by the extremes of humanity, whether it’s going to the moon, how fast someone can run in the Olympics, or even how long someone can live.

"With this work, we quantify how likely we believe it is that some individual will reach various extreme ages this century."

However, despite advances in health care, experts say there is a flattening of the mortality rate after a certain age.

Prof Adrian Raftery, also from the University of Washington, added: "It doesn’t matter how old they are, once they reach 110, they still die at the same rate. They’ve gotten past all the various things life throws at you, such as disease.

"They die for reasons that are somewhat independent of what affects younger people. This is a very select group of very robust people."

According to the experts, there are currently nearly half a million people over 100s but far fewer supercentenarians, with numbers estimated at around 600.

The current world record is held by Jeanne Calment, of France, who was 122 years and 164 days, when she died in 1997. The oldest person alive today is 118 year-old Kane Tanaka, of Japan.

The study was published in Demographic Research.