Supercentenarians around the World

By CSMonitor | The Christian Science Monitor, August 10, 2010 | Go to article overview

Supercentenarians around the World


CSMonitor, The Christian Science Monitor


For the first time, an international research team has tracked down the oldest people in the world - a group they call "supercentenarians." These are people who celebrated 110 birthdays or more. The study, by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany, was prompted by the rising numbers of centenarians worldwide. Researchers in 15 nations have found more than 600 supercentenarians - and 19 lived beyond the age of 115. As with centenarians, women by far outnumbered men. Here are the top five countries with the most supercentenarians.

For the first time, an international research team has tracked down the oldest people in the world - a group they call "supercentenarians." These are people who celebrated 110 birthdays or more.

The study, by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany, was prompted by the rising numbers of centenarians worldwide. Researchers in 15 nations have found more than 600 supercentenarians - and 19 lived beyond the age of 115. As with centenarians, women by far outnumbered men.

Here are the top five countries with the most supercentenarians.

#5 Italy

Although Italian supercentenarians have become a significant phenomenon only in recent years, the number of centenarians in the country has doubled every six to 10 years. The oldest Italian to live was Antonio Todde from Sardinia, who died at age 112 in 2002. Between 1998 and 2000, the rate of supercentenarians was only 0.05 per million. (Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research)

#4 France

French records of supercentenarians are more inaccurate than some countries, like England, where records are more complete. Compounding the issue is the fact that the French National Institute for Statistics and Economic Studies refused to accept ages of over 109 on death certificates prior to 1987.

As in other industrialized countries, the number of centenarians in France had increased dramatically by the end of the 20th century.

Jeanne Calment (pictured here on her 121st birthday), of Arles, France, died at 122 in 1997, the longest confirmed human lifespan in history. …

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