The growth of high ages in England and Wales, 1635-2106
In England and Wales there were many historical claims of extreme longevity—ranging up to 152 years, said to have been reached in 1635— but it is impossible to verify any of them. A modern approach suggests that it is unlikely that genuine centenarians reached the age of 100 before about 1700. Later, the number of centenarians recorded in censuses was found to be greatly exaggerated. Much more reliable estimates of numbers of centenarians can be derived from the data on registered deaths, which provide a continuous series from 1911 to the present. Details are given of a very well-documented supercentenarian who reached the age of 110 in 1930, and also of the verified supercentenarian deaths since 1968. From 1911 until the 1940s, there were only one or two hundred centenarians, but from the 1950s, the numbers started to increase rapidly. The identified reasons for this are summarized. The numbers have already reached an estimated 8,500. According to the official projections, if trends continue the number of centenarians may reach 486,000 in 2076, and perhaps double that number by 2106; provided, presumably, that there will be enough carers to look after so many. The highest age is expected to rise.
KeywordsExceptional Longevity Historical Claim Extreme Longevity Principal Projection Cumulative Total Number
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