• Tue, Dec 11 2012

How To Live To 100: Be A White Woman

how to live to 100

The Census bureau has released new, updated information about the 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 to 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 only 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, though—with a longer life comes increased healthcare costs and retirement expenses.

Photo: Shutterstock

 

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  • Hannah

    I think Blisstree should have a day where someone comes in and teaches them how to interpret statistics.

    • http://blisstree.com/ Carrie Murphy

      Hi Hannah, I’m confused as to your comment. I’m reporting specifically on the information as given by the Census itself, linked in the first paragraph above:

      Of the 53,364 Americans age 100 and older, more than 80 percent are women, a U.S. Census Bureau report released on Monday showed.

      The agency’s findings, based on data collected from its 2010 census, also found those who make it past 100 are also more likely to be white city-dwellers in the Northeast and Midwest.

      “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,” Census researchers wrote.

      “For every 100 centenarian females, there were only 20.7 centenarian males,” they added.