How People Who Live Beyond 100 Years Old Do It


By: Krystle Crossman

Census date from 2010 showed that there were 53,364 people in the country who were over 100 years of age. This is up quite a bit from census info from 1980 which showed 32,194 people over the age of 100. The population itself has increased by 36.3% over the course of those three decades as well. Most of these people who are over a century old have a few things in common.

1. Race – Over 82% of the centenarians are white. This is more than the general population which is just over 72% white. African Americans make up 12.2%, Hispanics were at 5.8%, Asians came in at 2.5%.

2. Gender – Being female seems to have its advantages when it comes to how old you live to be. A whopping 82.8% of the centenarians are women. There are only 20.7 males for everyone 100 females that are over the age of 100. Women also have high numbers when they are in their 90s (72.2%) and their 80s (61.9%). UCLA professor Gary Small says that being social has been proven to add longevity to your life because when you are social you reduce your stress. Women are more social than men.

3. Living arrangements – A majority of the people that lived to be over 100 lived in urban areas. Researchers believe that this helps add longevity because they have access to better healthcare and have more social contacts.

4. Company – Two-thirds of the centenarians live with someone. One-third have had to deal with the death of a loved one or have been put into a nursing home due to their health.

5. Location – Where you live in the US seems to have an effect on longevity. The Midwest and the Northeast have roughly 1.73 centenarians per 10,000 people as opposed to the West and the South which have well below that. Linda Waite, a sociology professor, states that education has been shown to increase the number of years that you live and those in the Northeast are more educated than other areas of the country.


1 Comment

  1. More people over the age of 100 in the world live in Africa. The numbers in the article are for the U.S. only. Also, a lot of people in China have very long life spans.

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