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Thursday, January 17, 2013

What People Who Live to 100 Have in Common

A growing number of Americans are living to age 100. Nationwide, the centenarian population has grown 65.8 percent over the past three decades, from 32,194 people who were age 100 or older in 1980 to 53,364 centenarians in 2010, according to new Census Bureau data. In contrast, the total population has increased 36.3 percent over the same time period.
Centenarians in the United States are considerably different from the overall population. Here's a look at some of the characteristics of people who live to age 100:

Female Gender

It is overwhelmingly women who live to age 100. In 2010, 82.8 percent of centenarians were female. For every 100 females age 100 or older, there are only 20.7 males the same age. Females also make up 61.9 percent of those in their 80s and 72.2 percent of people in their 90s. "We know that women are more social than men. Other studies have found that staying socially connected predicts greater life expectancy," says Gary Small, a professor on aging and director of the UCLA Longevity Center in Los Angeles, who is not affiliated with the Census Bureau report. "If you are social, it may reduce stress levels because you can talk about your feelings and things that stress you out and it seems to help many people. If you need a ride to the doctor or you fall, they can take you to the hospital or help you find the best doctor."

Less Diversity

Centenarians are considerably less diverse than the overall U.S. population. In 2010, some 82.5 percent of centenarians were white, versus 72.4 percent of the total population. Black or African Americans were unique in that their proportion of the centenarian population (12.2 percent) is about the same as their percentage of the total population (12.6 percent). Asians made up 2.5 percent of the centenarian population, while they make up 4.8 percent of the total population. And Hispanics represent 5.8 percent of centenarians, but 16.3 percent of the population.

Living with Others

Just over a third of both female and male centenarians lived alone in their own home in 2010, but the majority of the oldest citizens live with others. "As people get older, things in life happen—like you might become a widow or you might have a disability, and because of those circumstances, living arrangements often change," says Amy Symens Smith, chief of the age and special populations branch at the Census Bureau. Centenarian females (35.2 percent) were more likely to live in a nursing home than males the same age (18.2 percent). Centenarian males are the most likely to be living with others in a household (43.5 percent), compared to just 28.5 percent of centenarian females.

City Living

A large majority of the oldest U.S. citizens live in urban areas. "As age increases, the percentage living in urban areas also increases," says Smith. Some 85.7 percent of centenarians lived in urban areas in 2010, compared with 84.2 percent of those in their 90s, 81.5 percent of those in their 80s, and 76.6 percent of those in their 70s. "Living in the city, you have a lot more mental stimulation and the symphony and better doctors and hospitals and more social networking," says Small. "There are more resources, and there is better transportation."

Located in the Northeast or Midwest

States with the largest populations generally have the most centenarians. California has the largest number of centenarians (5,921), followed by New York (4,605), Florida (4,090), and Texas (2,917). Alaska has the fewest residents age 100 and older (40). Wyoming (72), Vermont (133), and Delaware (146) are also among the states with the fewest centenarians.
The Northeast and Midwest have proportions of centenarians that are higher than the national average of 1.73 per 10,000 people, while the West and South have below-average proportions of centenarians. "There's a lot of stuff going on in local areas, including access to medical care, diet, exercise, the culture, risk-taking, and more smoking," says Linda Waite, a sociology professor and director of the Center on Aging at the University of Chicago. "People in the Northeast tend to be more highly educated, and education is associated with a longer life expectancy." North Dakota is the only state with more than 3 centenarians for every 10,000 people in the state. Other states where centenarians make up a relatively large portion of the population include South Dakota, Iowa, and Nebraska. Three western states have less than one centenarian for every 10,000 people: Alaska, Utah, and Nevada.
The proportion of centenarians in the United States is smaller than that of many other developed countries. For example, for every 10,000 people, there are 1.92 centenarians in Sweden, 1.95 in the United Kingdom, and 2.70 in France. And Japan has 3.43 centenarians per 10,000 people, beating even our longest-lived state, North Dakota.

7 comments:

  1. Obamacare will kill them off. Obamacare, yet another violation of our rights. The gov’t constantly violates our rights.

    They violate the 1st Amendment by caging protesters and banning books like "America Deceived II".

    They violate the 4th and 5th Amendment by allowing TSA to grope you.

    They violate the entire Constitution by starting undeclared wars.

    Impeach Obama.

    Last link of "America Deceived II" before it is completely banned:

    http://www.amazon.com/America-Deceived-II-Possession-interrogation/dp/1450257437

    ReplyDelete
  2. Why is there always some idiot who has to make everything political? Can't we ever just read an interesting article without having to listen to someone spout about politics? And if you are so proud of your position, why do you post as "anonymous?"

    ReplyDelete
  3. We must anonymously post..the government is trolling the internet, using cameras everywhere, putting smart meters in our homes.
    Wake Up..it isn't America the home of the free!!

    ReplyDelete
  4. Every Problem our country faces is spelled P O L I T I C I A N. Obama and many of the democratic liberals are little by little destroying our country and changing our way of life not for the better. If you can't see that or understand it then your not paying attention.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I can certainly spell P S Y C H O -- and it doesn't matter if you post anonymously -- if they want to find you they will. Have some balls unless you plan to spend the rest of life in your bunker.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You've all heard the expression "The inmates are running the asylum"
    Well the IDIOTS are running America.We have the largest number of
    college grads of any country who comprise the majority of delusional
    idiots who refuse to see that Obama is causing us to lose our liberties and freedom.

    By Henry Dee

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  7. Just wondering if there are some other common links between centnarians. I read an article several years ago stating that women who had one or more babies after the age of 40 were more likely to be centenarians-a finding that crossed nations and cultures.

    Obama Care will have a negative impact on the overall aging population though. Off topic but it's interesting to see how consistently people are deeply concerned about Obama's far-reaching impact! Makes me wonder how he got reelected.

    ReplyDelete