RSS

The Bulletin

Will you live past 100?

Posting in Government

If you're male and live in the United States, your chances look pretty slim.

Women have long known to generally live longer than men, and a new report released by the U.S. Census Bureau appears to reinforce the idea.

After all, only 2 out of 10 Americans who live to 100 or longer are male.

Based on a count of 53,364 people age 100 and older in the United States as part of the 2012 census, the report (.pdf) found that the overwhelming majority of centenarians were female, with over 80 percent of those reaching the milestone age being of the fairer sex.

According to the report, centenarians count for less than two per 10,000 people in the entire U.S. population, and represented 19 out of every 10,000 people who were aged 70 or older. The agency also found that Americans most likely to reach 100 are most likely to be white and live in the Northeast and Midwest.

In 2010, the census suggested that 82.5 percent of American centenarians were white, and 5.8 percent were of hispanic origin. Those with Asian descent claimed 2.5 percent.

Supercentenarians -- those ages 110 and older -- represent only 0.6 percent of the centenarian population.

As ageing populations begin to apply pressure on the West's economy and infrastructure, federal, state, and local governments need information on age to implement, evaluate, and aid programs that plan and develop strategies to cope with a declining birth rate and higher percentage of citizens beyond the working age. Planning, funding, and services including care homes and healthcare are all paramount issues for the rising average age, and without being able to predict the situation in the long-term, pensions and the official retirement age could be the least of our worries once we reach our twilight years.

Guinness World Records says the title for the oldest living human was held by Besse Cooper, an American woman who died last week at age 116 in Georgia.

Image credit: Flickr / census.gov

Related:

— By on December 10, 2012, 6:56 PM PST

Charlie Osborne

Contributing Editor

Charlie Osborne is a freelance journalist and photographer based in London. In addition to SmartPlanet, she also writes for business technology website ZDNet and consumer technology site CNET. She holds a degree in medical anthropology from the University of Kent. Follow her on Twitter. Disclosure