Global Health

Is 100 the new 80? Centenarians are becoming more common

A retired elderly couple take advantage of the late summer weather in the gardens at the Champs de Mars in Paris, August 26, 2013.  France's government, which has been meeting with labour union heads about retirement issues, neared a deal with trade unions on Monday to overhaul the pension system via a slight lengthening of working lives, union chiefs said, as Europe's number two economy sought to bring a spiralling deficit under control.  REUTERS/Charles Platiau   (FRANCE - Tags: SOCIETY POLITICS BUSINESS EMPLOYMENT) - PM1E98Q1CHJ01

The US has the highest absolute number of centenarians worldwide. Image: REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Katharina Buchholz
Data Journalist, Statista
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Global Health

  • Life expectancies around the world have been rising continuously – and so have the number of people living beyond 100.
  • This year, the United Nations predicts the number of centenarians will rise to 573,000 worldwide.
  • Japan is the country with the highest rate of centenarians, at 6 for every 10,000 people.

Living a long life is a common wish of many – and some might just get what they wish for. Life expectancies in developed and developing countries alike have been rising continuously, causing the number of people who live to 100 years to rise also.

This year, the United Nations expects the number of centenarians to rise to approximately 573,000 worldwide.

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The US has the highest absolute number of centenarians in the world, at 97,000. Japan comes second with 79,000 nationals who are 100 years or older, according to World Atlas. Japan is also where the world’s oldest person lives; Kane Tanaka, from the Fukuoka prefecture is 116 years old making her a so-called supercentenarian – a person living to or beyond the age of 110.

Japan is also the country with the highest rate of centenarians, with 6 for every 10,000 people. Uruguay, Hong Kong and Puerto Rico are home to high numbers of centenarians compared to population size as well.

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Life expectancies in developed and developing countries alike have been rising continuously. Image: United Nations via Statista
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