Census Bureau Report on Centenarians

The U.S. Census Bureau recently released a report (1mb PDF) on American Centenarians — men and women (mostly women) over the age of 100 years old in the United States. According to the report,

. . . in 2010, there were just 53,364 centenarians in the United States, or 1.73 centenar- ians per 10,000 people in the total population. Even among the older population, centenarians are rare. Of those aged 70 and older, only 0.19percent (or 19 per 10,000) were centenarians, while 6.5 percent were in their 90s, 33.6 percent were in their 80s, and 59.6 percent were in their 70s.

The centenarian share of the total population is smaller than that for other developed countries. The U.S. proportion, 1.73 centenarians per 10,000 people, is lower than the proportion in Sweden (1.92 per 10,000), the United Kingdom (1.95 per 10,000), and France (2.70 per 10,000) (Statistics Sweden, 2010; Human Mortality Database, 2012). The U.S. proportion is about half the level found in Japan, 3.43 per 10,000 (Statistics Bureau of Japan, 2011).

One of the interesting things about reaching 100 is that — not surprisingly — reaching that milestone means you’re very close to dying. The life expectancy of someone reaching 100 is only 2.4 years. According to the Census Bureau report, there were only 330 people in the United States 110 years or older, and the report cautions a healthy degree of skepticism about that number “data quality generally declines as age increases within the centenarian age category.”

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