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Research unveils centenarian nation

1st October 2007

There are more people living in England and Wales aged over 100 years old than ever before in history, research has revealed.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) in 2006 there were 9,000 centenarians; those who had past the 100-year-old barrier.

In comparison in 1911 there were only 100 people who had reached their one hundredth year.

The ONS said that the number of centenarians has increased at a faster rate than any other age group in England and Wales since the 1950s.

But the government agency explains this trend is replicated across the west.

“The major contributor to the increasing number of centenarians is increased survival between age 80 and 100 due to improved hygiene and sanitation, improving food, housing and living standards and medical treatment,” a spokesperson explained.

According to today’s data, the number of women aged more than 100 years old outnumbers their male counterparts seven to one, but that ratio is predicted to fall.

An ONS statement concluded: “Future numbers of centenarians will depend on both the numbers in the population today and their future survival; current population projections suggest the number of centenarians in England and Wales will increase at an annual average of six per cent a year to four times the current number, reaching almost 40,000 by mid-2031.”

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