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{{Use dmy dates|date=May 2016}}File:Mjalexander centenarians.jpg|thumb|250px|right|Artist Mary Jane Alexander's portraits of centenarians at the Oklahoma Heritage Association]]A centenarian is a person who has reached the age of 100 years. Because life expectancies worldwide are below 100 years, the term is invariably associated with longevity. In 2012, the United Nations estimated that there were 316,600 living centenarians worldwide.WEB,weblink Chapter 1: Setting the Scene, 2012, UNFPA, 11 January 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 12 June 2013, dead, As life expectancy is increasing across the world, and the world population has also increased rapidly, the number of centenarians is expected to increase quickly in the future.NEWS,weblink Life expectancy to soar, 9 May 2002, BBC News, According to the UK ONS, one-third of babies born in 2013 in the UK are expected to live to 100.WEB,weblink [ARCHIVED CONTENT] One third of babies born in 2013 are expected to live to 100, 11 December 2013, ONS, 1 May 2016,


A supercentenarian, sometimes hyphenated as super-centenarian, is a human who has reached the age of 110, something only achieved by about one in 1,000 centenarians.Even rarer is a person who has lived to age 115 – there are only 48 people in recorded history who have indisputably reached this age, of whom only Kane Tanaka and Lucile Randon are living as of 2019.WEB,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 3 July 2010, Emergence of supercentenarians in low-mortality countries, North American Actuarial Journal (Vol. 6), 2002, 4 November 2010, JOURNAL,weblink Publications, 10.1016/S0531-5565,, 4 November 2010, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 13 June 2010, dmy-all, 2019-08-21, WEB,weblink Supercentenarians by H. Maier, J. Gampe, B. Jeune, J.-M. Robine and J.W. Vaupel. Springer 2010,, 4 November 2010,

Current incidences

Japan currently has the greatest number of known centenarians of any nation with 67,824 according to their 2017 census, along with the highest proportion of centenarians at 34.85 per 100,000 people. Japan started recording its centenarians in 1963. The number of Japanese centenarians in that year was 153, but surpassed the 10,000 mark in 1998; 20,000 in 2003; and 40,000 in 2009.According to a 1998 United Nations demographic survey, Japan is expected to have 272,000 centenarians by 2050;WEB,weblink Demographics of older persons, UN, 1 October 1998, 4 November 2010, other sources suggest that the number could be closer to 1 million.NEWS,weblink Japan centenarians at record high, BBC News, 12 September 2008, 4 November 2010, The incidence of centenarians in Japan was one per 3,522 people in 2008.De plus en plus de centenaires au Japon (PDF) {{webarchive|url= |date=27 September 2011 }}. Agence France Presse via 12 September 2008. Retrieved 24 February 2013.In Japan, the number of centenarians is highly skewed towards females. Japan in fiscal year 2016 had 57,525 female centenarians, while males were 8,167, a ratio of 7:1. The increase of centenarians was even more skewed at 11.6:1.NEWS,weblink Aging Japan now has 65692 centenarians, 2013-09-13, 2017-04-22, The Japan Times,

Centenarian populations by country

The total number of living centenarians in the world remains uncertain. It was estimated by the Population Division of the United Nations as 23,000 in 1950, 110,000 in 1990, 150,000 in 1995, 209,000 in 2000, 324,000 in 2005"World Population Prospects: The 2008 Revision" {{webarchive |url=weblink" title="">weblink |date=16 December 2007 }}. United Nations. Retrieved 24 February 2013. and 455,000 in 2009."World Population Ageing 2009". (PDF) ST/ESA/SER.A/295. Population Division – Department of Economic and Social Affairs. United Nations. October 2010. p.27. However, these older estimates did not take into account the contemporary downward adjustments of national estimates made by several countries such as the United States; thus, in 2012, the UN estimated there to be only 316,600 centenarians worldwide. The following table gives estimated centenarian populations by country, including both the latest and the earliest known estimates, where available.{| class="wikitable sortable"!Country !! data-sort-type="number" |Latest estimate (year) !! data-sort-type="number" | Earliest estimate (year) !! data-sort-type="number" | Centenarians per100,000 people
Argentina>Indec 2010 Cuadro – Total del país. Población total por país de nacimiento, según sexo y grupo de edad (in Spanish) {{webarchive>url= | 8.7
Australia>"3101.0 - Australian Demographic Statistics, Jun 2011" {{webarchive>url= "3201.0 – Population by Age and Sex, Australian States and Territories, Jun 2010". Australian Bureau of Statistics. 21 December 2010. >1901}} 50 (1901) 18.8
Austria>Austrian Demographics retrieved 1 October 2014>ACCESSDATE=20 APRIL 2013PUBLISHER=DEMOGR.MPG.DE1960}} 25 (1960) 16.1
Belgium>« Structure de la population selon l'âge et le sexe : centenaires » {{webarchive>url= 1950}} 23 (1950)HTTP://PXNET2.STAT.FI/PXWEB/PXWEB/EN/STATFIN/STATFIN__VRM__VAERAK/050_VAERAK_TAU_205.PX/?RXID=35EF5690-566A-4CA8-980B-1B27D5145CE3>TITLE=POPULATION STATISTICSPUBLISHER=WORK=ASIAN JOURNAL OF GERONTOLOGY AND GERIATRICSAUTHOR1=HERM, A.AUTHOR3=POULAIN, M., 16.9
Brazil>| 12.5
Canada>| 22.3
China >China Daily. "China has over 48,000 centenarians". 8 November 2011; People's Daily Overseas Edition "China boasts nearly 50,000 centenarians". 8 November 2011; Xinhua. "China has over 48,000 centenarians: survey" {{webarchive>url= 1990}} 4,469 (1990), 17,800 (2007)Lee, Sharon. "17.8 thousand centenarians in China". {{Webarchiveweblink >date=4 March 2016 }} 30 December 2007. Retrieved 20 April 2013. 3.6
Czech Republic >Prague Daily Monitor. "Number of centenarians rising in Czech Republic" {{webarchive>url= "Number of Centenarians Rising as Population Ageing Continues". Radio Praha. 15 November 2006). >2006}} 404 (2006) 5.9
France>Mayotte included. See Insee « Population totale par sexe et âge au 1er janvier 2016, France » (« data ») or "Pyramide des âges au 1er janvier 2016", January 2016.>1900}} 100 (1900)INED « Nombre de centenaires »; data {{webarchiveweblink >date=30 May 2009 }}. 32.1Insee "Pyramide des âges au 1er janvier 2016", January 2016.
Germany>Magazine Focus 2013-2-8, retrieved 14. Nov. 2013>1885}}232 (1885)[ DISPLAYING ABSTRACT ] >URL=HTTPS://WWW.NYTIMES.COM/1887/05/01/ARCHIVES/CENTENARIANS-IN-GERMANY.HTML WORK=NEW YORK TIMES ACCESSDATE=4 NOVEMBER 2010, 21
Hungary>"Döbbenet: egyre többen élnek 100 évnél tovább". 07 October 2013. Retrieved 26 November 2016.>1990}}227 (1990), 76 (1949)HTTP://WWW.KSH.HU/INTERAKTIV/MSTAT2015/GRAFIKONOK.HTML >TITLE=MAGYAR STATISZTIKAI éVKöNYV, 2015 - GRAFIKONOK DATE=2016-01-01 |15.3
Iceland>"Mannfjöldi eftir kyni og aldri 1841-2015". Hagstofa Íslands. 21 March 2015. Retrieved 17 September 2015. >1960}} 3 (1960) 9.7
India>PEW: World’s centenarian population projected to grow eightfold by 2050 Retrieved 22 April 2016. >| 2.1
Ireland>"Census 2011 Profile 2 - Older and Younger" Retrieved 6 January 2015. >| 8.5
Israel>"Population by age, sex and urban/rural residence: latest available year, 2003-2012" Retrieved 20 May 2016. >| 27.6
Italy >1872}} 99 (1872) 31.5
Japan >DATE=13 SEPTEMBER 2013LOCATION=LONDONLAST=MCCURRY, {{Hs"Development of Oldest-Old Mortality, 1950–1990: Evidence from 28 Developed Countries" {{Webarchive>url= Monographs on Population Aging. No.1. Odense University Press: Odense, Denmark. 108 pp. Updated 1 February 1999. Table5 {{Webarchive>url= | 48
Mexico >1990}} 2,403 (1990) 6.6
Netherlands>"More Male Centenarians". Statistics Netherlands (CBS). 16 September 2010. >1830}} 18 (1830)1830 Census (in Dutch). Retrieved 26 July 2013. 10.4
New Zealand>| 297 (1991)WILKINSON > FIRST1 = T. J. FIRST2 = R., A census-based comparison of centenarians in New Zealand with those in the United States, Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 46, 4, 488–491, 1998, 9560074, 10.1111/j.1532-5415.1998.tb02472.x, ||{{Hs|1960}} 18 (1960) || 5.9
Norway>1951}} 44 (1951) 13.1
Peru>"1,682 electors are over 100 years". Lima, Peru. 7 February 2011. Retrieved 20 April 2013. >| 5.6
Portugal>| 38.9
Russia>PUBLISHER=RT.COMACCESSDATE=14 SEPTEMBER 2019, 6,700 (2007) 14
Singapore>WORK=THESTAR.COMACCESSDATE=28 APRIL 2013AUTHOR2=TAI, JANICEdate=December 2017 fix-attempted=yes }} {{Hs| 13.7
South Africa>WORK=NEWS24ACCESSDATE=9 SEPTEMBER 2015, - 30.1
South Korea>WORK=아시아 경제ACCESSDATE=18 JANUARY 2016, {{Hs| 7.7
Sweden> TITLE = BEFOLKNING EFTER åLDER OCH KöN. ÅR 1860 - 2017 1950}} 46 (1950) 20.6
Switzerland >1860}} 7 (1860) 16.6
WEBSITE=CNN TüRK, 14 April 2016, | -|6.7
United States>LAST=MEYERDATE=DECEMBER 2012ACCESSDATE=23 JANUARY 2013, {{Hs"Centenarians in the United States". Current Population Reports (Series P23-199RV). U.S. Bureau of the Census. U.S. Government Printing Office. Washington, D.C. iii + 18 pp. >| 22
Uruguay>WORK=INSTITUTO NACIONAL DE ESTADíSTICA (URUGUAY)URL-STATUS=DEADARCHIVEDATE=9 MARCH 20132011 census data {{webarchive>url= |date=9 March 2013 }}.
World Estimates>1950}} 23,000 (1950) 6.2

Recognition and congratulations worldwide

In many countries, people receive a gift or congratulations from federal/state institutions on their 100th birthday.



Centenarians born in Ireland receive a €2,540 "Centenarians' Bounty" and a letter from the President of Ireland, even if they are resident abroad.NEWS,weblink Centenarians abroad to get birthday bonus, Irish Times, 3 March 2006, 4 November 2010,


Centenarians born in Italy receive a letter from the President Of The Republic Of Italy.


Swedish centenarians receive a telegram from the King and Queen of Sweden."Fler 100-åringar ger hovet merarbete" (in Swedish). Göteborgs-Posten. 29 December 2009. Retrieved 6 September 2019.

United Kingdom and Commonwealth

In the United Kingdom and the other Commonwealth realms, the British (and Commonwealth) monarch sends greetings (formerly as a telegram) on the 100th birthday and on every birthday beginning with the 105th. The tradition of Royal congratulations dates from 1908, when the Secretary for King Edward VII sent a congratulatory letter to Reverend Thomas Lord of Horncastle in a newspaper clipping, declaring, "I am commanded by the King to congratulate you on the attainment of your hundredth year, after a most useful life." The practice was formalised from 1917, under the reign of King George V, who also sent congratulations on the attainment of a 60th Wedding anniversary. Queen Elizabeth II sends a greeting card style with the notation: "I am so pleased to know that you are celebrating your one-hundredth birthday, I send my congratulations and best wishes to you on such a special occasion", thereafter each few years the card is updated with a current picture of the Queen to ensure people do not receive the same card more than once. The Queen further sends her congratulations on one's 105th birthday and every year thereafter as well as on special wedding anniversaries; people must apply for greetings three weeks before the event, on the official British Monarch's website.WEB,weblink A Royal tradition: The Queen's 100th birthday messages, live,weblink" title="">weblink 15 February 2019,

Russian Federation

In 2019, there were reported to be over 20,000 centenarians living in Russia, a sharp increase from 6,700 in 2007.Centenarians in Russia receive a letter from the President of Russia, currently Vladimir Putin, officially congratulating them for reaching one hundred years.

North America

United States

File:100th birthday card Fords.jpg|thumb|right|Greeting card sent from former US President Gerald Ford and first lady Betty FordBetty FordIn the United States, centenarians traditionally receive a letter from the President, congratulating them for their longevity.



Japanese centenarians receive a silver cup and a certificate from the Prime Minister of Japan upon the Respect for the Aged Day following their 100th birthday, honouring them for their longevity and prosperity in their lives.Ageing Japan cuts cost of 100th birthday gifts March 3, 2009 Reuters Retrieved September 26, 2015Izadi, Elahe Japan has so many super old people that it can’t afford to give them special sake cups anymore August 21, 2015 Washington Post Retrieved September 26, 2015Plucinska, Joanna Japan Can’t Afford to Give Centenarians Gifts Anymore Because There Are Too Many of Them August 20, 2015 Time Magazine Retrieved September 26, 2015


In Madhya Pradesh, the award known as Shatayu Samman is given out to persons who live at least a 100 years to promote awareness of good health.WEB, 'Oldest' Indian man dies in Madhya Pradesh,weblink 10 June 2012,

Worldwide cultural traditions and rituals

An aspect of blessing in many cultures is to offer a wish that the recipient lives to 100 years old. Among Hindus, people who touch the feet of elders are often blessed with "May you live a hundred years". In Sweden, the traditional birthday song states, May he/she live for one hundred years. In Judaism, the term May you live to be 120 years old is a common blessing. In Poland, Sto lat, a wish to live a hundred years, is a traditional form of praise and good wishes, and the song "sto lat, sto lat" is sung on the occasion of the birthday celebrations—arguably, it is the most popular song in Poland and among Poles around the globe.Chinese emperors were hailed to live ten thousand years, while empresses were hailed to live a thousand years. In Italy, "A hundred of these days!" (cento di questi giorni) is an augury for birthdays, to live to celebrate 100 more birthdays.Italian Translation {{webarchive|url= |date=22 December 2011 }}. 21 June 2007. Retrieved 22 March 2012. Some Italians say "Cent'anni!", which means "a hundred years", in that they wish that they could all live happily for a hundred years. In Greece, wishing someone Happy Birthday ends with the expression να τα εκατοστήσεις (na ta ekatostisis), which can be loosely translated as "may you make it one hundred birthdays".In Sri Lanka, it is a custom to bless as " you may live 220 instead of 120".

Centenarians in antiquity

While the number of centenarians per capita was much lower in ancient times than today, the data suggest that they were not unheard of.JOURNAL, Postel-Vinay O, Histoire Le Cas de la Grèce Antique, La Recherche, La Recherche Special, 322, 90, July–August 1999,weblink French, dead,weblink" title="">weblink 29 September 2011, dmy-all, {{better source| given source no longer online, gives only Gorgias as clear centenarian, none with exactly known age|date=September 2018}}Estimates of life expectancy in antiquity are far lower than modern values mostly due to the far greater incidence of deaths in infancy or childhood. Those who lived past early childhood had a reasonable chance of living to a relatively old age.Mirko Grmek and Danielle Gourevitch (1998). Illness in Antiquity. Fayard. The assumption of what constitutes "old age", or being "elderly", at least, seems to have remained unchanged since antiquity, the line being generally drawn at either sixty or sixty-five years;JOURNAL ARTICLE M. I. Finley, "The Elderly in Classical Antiquity", Greece & Rome 28.2 (1981), 156-171 Psalm 90:10 in the Hebrew Bible appears to give seventy to eighty years as the natural life expectancy of a person surviving into old age, "The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty".A survey of the lifespans of male individuals with entries in the Oxford Classical Dictionary (i.e., a sample pre-selected to include those who lived long enough to attain historical notability) found a median lifespan of 72 years, and a range of 32 to 107 years, for 128 individuals born before 100 BC (though the same study found a median lifespan of 66 years for 100 individuals born after 100 BC but no later than 602 AD); by comparison, male individuals listed in Chambers Biographical Dictionary who died between 1900 and 1949 had a median lifespan of 71.5 years, with a range between 29 and 105 years.The author of the 1994 study concluded that it was only in the second half of the 20th century that medical advances have extended the life expectancy of those who live into adulthood."On this analysis, it is only in the present half-century that advances in medicine have allowed us to outlive those ancients of the BC era who managed to survive the early perils." J D Montagu, "Length of life in the ancient world: a controlled study", Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine 87 (January 1994).Reliable references to individuals in antiquity who lived past 100 years are quite rare, but they do exist. For instance, Cicero's wife Terentia was reported by Pliny the Elder to have lived from 98 BC to 6 AD, 104 years.Pliny, (wikisource:la:Naturalis Historia/Liber VII|Naturalis Historia, lib. vii, 158). Regnal dates of Bronze Age monarchs are notoriously unreliable; the sixth dynasty Egyptian ruler Pepi II is sometimes listed as having lived c. 2278 – c. 2184 BC, as he is said to have reigned for 94 years,WEB,weblink A Short History of Egypt: Part I: From the Predynastic Period to the Old Kingdom, Carnegie Mellon University, 4 November 2010, but alternative readings cite a reign of just 64 years.WEB, Jacques Kinnaer,weblink Pepi II,, 4 November 2011, Diogenes Laërtius (c. AD 250) gives one of the earliest references regarding the plausible centenarian longevity given by a scientist, the astronomer Hipparchus of Nicea (c. 185 – c. 120 BC), who, according to the doxographer, assured that the philosopher Democritus of Abdera (c. 470/460 – c. 370/360 BC) lived 109 years. All other ancient accounts of Democritus appear to agree that the philosopher lived at least 90 years. The case of Democritus differs from those of, for example, Epimenides of Crete (7th and 6th centuries BC), who is said to have lived an implausible 154, 157 or 290 years, depending on the source.Other ancient Greek philosophers thought to have lived beyond the age of 90 include Xenophanes of Colophon (c. 570/565 – c. 475/470 BC), Pyrrho of Ellis (c. 360 - c. 270 BC), and Eratosthenes of Cirene (c. 285 – c. 190 BC).Hosius of Córdoba, the man who convinced Constantine the Great to call the First Council of Nicaea, reportedly lived to age 102.
A rare record of an ordinary person who lived to be a centenarian is the tombstone of Roman British legionary veteran Julius Valens, inscribed "VIXIT ANNIS C".Funerary inscription for Julius Valens. Roman Inscriptions of Britain - RIB 363.In the medieval period, Albert Azzo II, Margrave of Milan (d. 1097) is reported by Bernold of Constance as having lived past 100 years (iam maior centenario).Bernoldi Chronicon (1097). MGH SS V, p. 465.


Research in Italy

Research in Italy suggests that healthy centenarians have high levels of both vitamin A and vitamin E and that this seems to be important in causing their extreme longevity.JOURNAL, Mecocci P, Polidori MC, Troiano L, Plasma antioxidants and longevity: a study on healthy centenarians, Free Radic Biol Med, 28, 8, 1243–8, April 2000, 10889454, 10.1016/S0891-5849(00)00246-X, etal, Other research contradicts this, however, and has found that this theory does not apply to centenarians from Sardinia, for whom other factors probably play a more important role.JOURNAL, Polidori MC, Mariani E, Baggio G, Different antioxidant profiles in Italian centenarians: the Sardinian peculiarity, Eur J Clin Nutr, 61, 7, 922–4, Jul 2007, 17228351, 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602596, etal, A preliminary study carried out in Poland showed that, in comparison with young healthy female adults, centenarians living in Upper Silesia had significantly higher red blood cell glutathione reductase and catalase activities, although serum levels of vitamin E were not significantly higher.JOURNAL, Kłapcińska B, Derejczyk J, Wieczorowska-Tobis K, Sobczak A, Sadowska-Krepa E, Danch A, Antioxidant defense in centenarians (a preliminary study), Acta Biochim Pol., 47, 2, 281–92, 2000, 11051193,weblink Researchers in Denmark have also found that centenarians exhibit a high activity of glutathione reductase in red blood cells. In this study, the centenarians having the best cognitive and physical functional capacity tended to have the highest activity of this enzyme.JOURNAL, Andersen HR, Jeune B, Nybo H, Nielsen JB, Andersen-Ranberg K, Grandjean P, Low activity of superoxide dismutase and high activity of glutathione reductase in erythrocytes from centenarians, Age Ageing, 27, 5, 643–8, Sep 1998, 12675104,weblink 10.1093/ageing/27.5.643, 18 January 2011, Other research has found that people whose parents became centenarians have an increased number of naïve B cells. It is well known that the children of parents who have a long life are also likely to reach a healthy age, but it is not known why, although the inherited genes are probably important."Blood tests 'could be used to predict lifespan'". The Daily Telegraph. 25 June 2008. Retrieved 30 June 2008. A variation in the gene FOXO3A is known to have a positive effect on the life expectancy of humans, and is found much more often in people living to 100 and beyond - moreover, this appears to be true worldwide."Living longer thanks to the 'longevity gene'". 3 February 2009. Retrieved 4 February 2009.Men and women who are 100 or older tend to have extroverted personalities, according to Thomas T. Perls, the director of the New England Centenarian Study at Boston University. Centenarians will often have many friends, strong ties to relatives and high self-esteem. In addition, some research suggests that the offspring of centenarians are more likely to age in better cardiovascular health than their peers.JOURNAL, Adams ER, Nolan VG, Andersen SL, Perls TT, Terry DF, Centenarian offspring: start healthier and stay healthier, J Am Geriatr Soc, 56, 11, 2089–92, Nov 2008, 18811609, 10.1111/j.1532-5415.2008.01949.x, 2892731,

DNA repair

Lymphoblastoid cell lines established from blood samples of centenarians have significantly higher activity of the DNA repair protein PARP (Poly ADP ribose polymerase) than cell lines from younger (20 to 70 years old) individuals.JOURNAL, Muiras ML, Müller M, Schächter F, Bürkle A, Increased poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase activity in lymphoblastoid cell lines from centenarians, J. Mol. Med., 76, 5, 346–54, 1998, 9587069, 10.1007/s001090050226, The lymphocytic cells of centenarians have characteristics typical of cells from young people, both in their capability of priming the mechanism of repair after H2O2 sublethal oxidative DNA damage and in their PARP capacity.JOURNAL, Chevanne M, Calia C, Zampieri M, Cecchinelli B, Caldini R, Monti D, Bucci L, Franceschi C, Caiafa P, Oxidative DNA damage repair and parp 1 and parp 2 expression in Epstein-Barr virus-immortalized B lymphocyte cells from young subjects, old subjects, and centenarians, Rejuvenation Res, 10, 2, 191–204, 2007, 17518695, 10.1089/rej.2006.0514, 11573/142209, PARP activity measured in the permeabilized mononuclear leukocyte blood cells of thirteen mammalian species correlated with maximum lifespan of the species.JOURNAL, Grube K, Bürkle A, Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase activity in mononuclear leukocytes of 13 mammalian species correlates with species-specific life span, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. U.S.A., 89, 24, 11759–63, 1992, 1465394, 50636, 10.1073/pnas.89.24.11759, These findings suggest that PARP mediated DNA repair activity contributes to the longevity of centenarians, consistent with the DNA damage theory of aging.Bernstein H, Payne CM, Bernstein C, Garewal H, Dvorak K (2008). Cancer and aging as consequences of un-repaired DNA damage. In: New Research on DNA Damages (Editors: Honoka Kimura and Aoi Suzuki) Nova Science Publishers, Inc., New York, Chapter 1, pp. 1-47. open access, but read onlyweblink {{Webarchive|url= |date=25 October 2014 }} {{ISBN|978-1-60456-581-2}}

Japanese bio-study

{{see|Aging of Japan}} {{see|Elderly people in Japan}}Many experts attribute Japan's high life expectancy to the typical Japanese diet, which is particularly low in refined simple carbohydrates, and to hygienic practices. The number of centenarians in relation to the total population was, in September 2010, 114% higher in Shimane Prefecture than the national average. This ratio was also 92% higher in Okinawa Prefecture.Santrock, John (2008). "Physical Development and Biological Aging". In Mike Ryan, Michael J. Sugarman, Maureen Spada, and Emily Pecora (eds.): A Topical Approach to Life-Span Development (pp. 129-132). New York: McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.Japan Times (15 September 2010). "Centenarians to Hit Record 44,000". Retrieved 6 February 2013.In 2006, official data from the Okinawa Prefectural government were slightly inflated because of a methodological flaw. See Willcox, D. Craig; Willcox, Bradley J.; He Qimei; Wang Nien-chiang and Suzuki Makoto. "They Really Are That Old: A Validation Study of Centenarian Prevalence in Okinawa". (PDF) The Journals of Gerontology Series A: Biological Sciences and Medical Sciences. Vol. 63. 2008. pp. 338–349. In Okinawa, studies have shown five factors that have contributed to the large number of centenarians in that region:
  1. A diet that is heavy on grains, fish, and vegetables and light on meat, eggs, and dairy products.
  2. Low-stress lifestyles, which are proven significantly less stressful than that of the mainland inhabitants of Japan.
  3. A caring community, where older adults are not isolated and are taken better care of.
  4. High levels of activity, where locals work until an older age than the average age in other countries, and more emphasis on activities like walking and gardening to keep active.
  5. Spirituality, where a sense of purpose comes from involvement in spiritual matters and prayer eases the mind of stress and problems.
Although these factors vary from those mentioned in the previous study, the culture of Okinawa has proven these factors to be important in its large population of centenarians.A historical study from Korea found that male eunuchs in the royal court had a centenarian rate of over 3%, and that eunuchs lived on average 14 to 19 years longer than uncastrated men.WEB, Upside to castration? Eunuchs lived longer, study finds,weblink Reuters via NBC, 24 September 2012, 26 September 2012,

Centenarian controversy in Japan

The number of Japanese centenarians was called into question in 2010, following a series of reports showing that hundreds of thousands of elderly people had gone "missing" in the country. The deaths of many centenarians had not been reported, casting doubt on the country's reputation for having a large population of centenarians.NEWS,weblink Japan's Elderly Count Was Off by 234,000, Martin, Fackler, New York Times, 10 September 2010, 26 July 2013, NEWS,weblink More than 230,000 Japanese centenarians 'missing', BBC, 10 September 2010, 4 November 2010, NEWS,weblink More Than 230,000 Centenarians Missing in Japan, CBS News, 10 September 2010, 4 November 2010, In July 2010, Sogen Kato, a centenarian listed as the oldest living male in Tokyo, registered to be aged 111, was found to have died some 30 years before; his body was found mummified in his bed,"Tokyo's 'oldest man' dead for 30 years". The Daily Telegraph. 29 July 2010. Retrieved 26 July 2013. resulting in a police investigation into centenarians listed over the age of 105. Soon after the discovery, the Japanese Justice Ministry found that at least 234,354 other Japanese centenarians were "missing",WEB,weblink 234,000 centenarians listed in registries missing, Japan Times, 11 September 2010, 4 November 2010,weblink" title="">weblink 12 April 2016, dead, and began a nationwide search in early August 2010.WEB,weblink "Nearly 200 of Japan's oldest citizens 'missing'", AFP, 11 August 2010, 26 July 2013,weblink" title="">weblink 17 August 2010, dead,

Epigenetic studies

By measuring the biological age of various tissues from centenarians, researchers may be able to identify tissues that are protected from aging effects. According to a study of 30 different body parts from centenarians and younger controls, the cerebellum is the youngest brain region (and probably body part) in centenarians (about 15 years younger than expectedJOURNAL, The cerebellum ages slowly according to the epigenetic clock., Age (Albany US), 7, 2015,weblink 26000617, 4468311, Horvath S, Mah V, Lu AT, Woo JS, Choi OW, Jasinska AJ, Riancho JA, Tung S, Coles NS, Braun J, Vinters HV, Coles LS, 5, 10.18632/aging.100742, 294–306, ) according to an epigenetic biomarker of tissue age known as epigenetic clock.JOURNAL, Horvath, S, 2013, DNA methylation age of human tissues and cell types, Genome Biology, 14, 10, R115, 10.1186/gb-2013-14-10-r115, 24138928, 4015143, These findings could explain why the cerebellum exhibits fewer neuropathological hallmarks of age related dementias compared to other brain regions. Further, the offspring of semi-supercentenarians (subjects who reached an age of 105–109 years) have a lower epigenetic age than age-matched controls (age difference=5.1 years in peripheral blood mononuclear cells) and centenarians are younger (8.6 years) than expected based on their chronological age.JOURNAL, Horvath, S, 2015, Decreased epigenetic age of PBMCs from Italian semi-supercentenarians and their offspring.,weblink Aging, 7, Dec, 1159–1170, 4712339, 26678252, 10.18632/aging.100861,

Media references

Centenarians are often the subject of news stories, which often focus on the fact that they are over 100 years old. Along with the typical birthday celebrations, these reports provide researchers and cultural historians with evidence as to how the rest of society views this elderly population. Some examples:
  • 107-year-old Arkansas man Monroe Isadore dies in shootout with SWAT
, 107-year-old Arkansas man dies in shootout with S.W.A.T.
, 8 September 2013
, dead
,weblink" title="">weblink
, 10 September 2013
, dmy-all
, CBS affiliate KTVH 11, 8 September 2013. Includes photo of deceased.WEB, 107-year-old man killed in gun battle with SWAT team,weblink 9 September 2013, Christian Science Monitor, 8 September 2013. Video, photo of house.NEWS, SWAT team shoots and kills one of the oldest men in America,weblink 9 September 2013, London, Daily Mail, 8 September 2013, Daily Mail Online, 8 September 2013. Photos of exterior crime scene.NEWS, Monroe Isadore, 107-year-old Arkansas man, killed during shootout with SWAT team,weblink 9 September 2013, CBS News, 9 September 2013, CBS News, 9 September 2013
  • 101-year-old Nepalese man Funchu Tamang was rescued from the Nepal earthquake in 2015WEB,weblink Miraculous rescue of 101-year-old man pulled alive from Nepal quake rubble, 3 May 2015,
  • In 2015, Japanese man Hidekichi Miyazaki, a masters athlete, became the world's oldest sprinter upon winning the 100m at the age of 105, earning a place in the Guinness World Record bookWEB,weblink Japan 105 year old 'Golden Bolt' sets a sprint record, misses personal best, reuturs, 24 September 2015, WEB,weblink Japans's 105-year-old 'Golden Bolt' sets world record for 100m, {{dead link|date=December 2017 |bot=InternetArchiveBot |fix-attempted=yes }}
  • William A. Del Monte, the last known survivor of the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, died at a retirement faculty in Marin County in 2016 at the age of 109.NEWS,weblink William Del Monte, Last known Survivor of the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake, Dies at 109, Associated Press, 11 January 2016, NEWS,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink dead, 2016-05-07, William Del Monte, The Times,
  • In 2015, Mieko Nagaoka, a 100-year-old Japanese woman, became the first centenarian to complete a 1500m swim in a 25-meter pool; specifically, she completed 30 laps of the pool in 1 hour, 15 minutes, 54 seconds, in a masters event in Matsuyama, Japan.NEWS, April 6, 2015,weblink Centenarian swimmer breaks record -,, 2015-04-07, WEB,weblink Japanese woman, 100, swims 1500m record &124; OlympicTalk,, 2015-04-07,
  • In May 2015 Marjorie "Bo" Gilbert, from South Wales, became the first centenarian to appear in the magazine Vogue, when she was featured as part of an advertisement for the department store Harvey Nichols.WEB,weblink Here's The First 100-Year-Old To Appear In Vogue,, 25 March 2016, 1 May 2016, WEB,weblink Harvey Nichols 100 Year Old Model Campaign,, 1 May 2016,
  • On April 30, 2016, Ida Keeling became the first woman in history to complete a 100-meter run at the age of 100. Her time of 1:17.33 was witnessed by a crowd of 44,469 at the 2016 Penn Relays.WEB,weblink, WEB,weblink Watch: 100-year old Ida Keeling breaks 100-meter age group record, 2 May 2016, Yahoo Sports, WEB,weblink Watch 100-year-old Ida Keeling set a world record in the 100-meter dash, then do some push-ups, Los Angeles Times, 3 May 2016,,
  • In 2017, Julia Hawkins (age 101) became the oldest woman ever in the USA Track and Field Outdoors Masters Championships, and ran the 100 meters in 40.12 seconds.NEWS, Payne, Marissa,weblink 'I missed my nap for this': 101-year-old sprinter breaks 100-meter dash record, The Washington Post, 2017-07-27, Previously that year she had run the 100 meters in 39.62 seconds. That is a new world record for women 100 or older.

See also

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Further reading

  • BOOK, Tina, Koch, Debbie, Kralik, Charmaine, Power, 2005, 100 Years Old: 24 Australian Centenarians Tell Their Stories, Viking, Camberwell, Vic, 0-670-02872-X,

External links

{{Commons category|Centenarians}} {{Longevity}}

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Eastern Philosophy
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