Saturday, June 21, 2008


I have some odd interests, and one of them is this Wikipedia page I pay attention to.

What I find interesting is that of the 100 oldest people ever - ones that can be verified - 50 of them have died since 2000 and four are still living.

Part of this comes from the improved record keeping in various parts of the world. Many potential supercentarians from the past can not be verified because the records simply did not exist then.

This is only one of the reasons for the boom in people over 110 years old. Another is simply the fact that there are more people living now than ever before. More people were born in the 1880s and 1890s than ever before. And each and every up until recently there have been more people born. The birth of children peaked in the late 1980s at 87 000 000 and has since dropped to about 79 000 000. 110 years ago the number was much more like 30 000 000 a year or lower. More people born means more possible supercentarians.

Another change comes from the dramatic improvement in human health and economic well being, there simply are more people alive in old age that might be able to live to become 110.

The country with the most people in the top 100 oldest is the US. The second is Japan. I suspect that Japan will have an every increasing number over the next ten years because we have hit the timeframe in which record keeping became better in Japan.

Almost all the 100 oldest ever come from the developed world. Longevity would seem to be very tightly connected to economic well being, the better of the standard of living, the more likely you are to live to 110.

Europeans suffer from having had several very destructive wars in the last 110 years. Europe also seems to have suffered because the general health and well being of the working classes we truly shitty till post world war two. The US, Canada and Australia all have had much more egalitarian societies and developed a middle class much earlier.

Anyway, it is all interesting to me and may Edna Parker, the current oldest person alive, live for as long as she would like to. As of today she is the 20th oldest person ever to have lived. It will take her another year to make the top ten.


Anonymous said...

Edna Parker died on 11/27/08 at 115 years and 220 days old. At her death Edna was the 14th oldest validated person in history.

Anonymous said...

my Aunt Luella R Steed Smith died on Jan 20, 2006 at 110 years plus- she lived in Cardston Alberta Canada and was a very wonderful person and dearly missed.