The emergence of supercentenarians in Canada
As has happened in other developed countries with low mortality, Canada has seen a dramatic increase in the numbers of very old persons in its population, with a multiplication in the number of centenarians, and the concomitant emergence of supercentenarians. The extent of the phenomenon is, however, difficult to assess. On the one hand, because of a warped view of the protection of privacy, age data from Canadian censuses are available only in rounded figures, which renders them useless when reaching the small numbers associated with supercentenarianism. On the other hand, death statistics in general, and those from people born outside the country in particular, are suspect at the extreme ages, and the information necessary to validate the information is not accessible most of the time; with the Province of Quebec, representing some 23.5% of the Canadian population, being the only exception. Of the 25 reported deaths at an age of 110 or over in Quebec, careful validation has identified 10 true supercentenarians. Eight of them are women, but the earliest one, born in 1852, was a male. The oldest died in 2001 at the age of 112 years and four months, but this record will be soon shattered as a 115-year-old woman is currently living in Montreal. Eleven cases are known for the rest of Canada, but they necessarily represent a fraction of the total number of people who reached the 110-year milestone.
KeywordsCanadian Population Birth Registration Death Registration Canadian Census Exceptional Longevity
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