The Census bureau has released new, updated information about theÂ 53,364 Americans who are 100 and older. Here’s what you need to know: about 80% of them are women. The Census also found that you’re also more likely to live past 100 if you are a white, female city dweller in the Northeast or Midwest. Apparently the key to longevity is…be a white woman?
It’s no secret that women generally live longer than men, but I wonder if white women living longer than other ethnicities can be attributed to privilege: less physically-demanding jobs, better access to healthcare, higher education levels, less stress. It’s pretty easy to draw that conclusion, although the Census obviously didn’t explicitly include that in their report. (I wish they had looked at sociological factors, though. Or I wish someone else would, using this info from the 2010 Census.)
Census researchers did say:
Due to sex differences in mortality over the lifespan, the proportion of females in the population increases with age. This is especially true in the oldest ages, where the percentage female increases sharply.
According toÂ Guiness World Records, the oldest living person right now is 115-year-old Dina Manfredini, an Italian immigrant who has lived in Des Moines, Iowa since 1920.
American’s lifespans have been increasing steadily over time. In 1980, there were onlyÂ 32,194 people in the United States who were 100 years old or older. But with today’s better healthcare, better nutrition, and other increased quality-of-life benefits, people are living a lot longer. This isn’t always good news, thoughâ€”with a longer life comes increased healthcare costs and retirement expenses.