Charts and graphs

GRG-Validated supercentenarians by Country of Last Residence/Death

Jan. 18, 2023; Supercentenarians tend to appear in their greatest number in highly developed countries. Most of validated cases come from five nations including the USA, Japan, France, United Kingdom and Italy, followed by Canada, Germany and Spain. In 2013 the GRG has included Poland in its coverage, and, following the 2019-2020 period, more and more cases are being validated from Latin American realm. We still await convincing evidence from highly populated countries such as India, China, Indonesia, and Russia, the high populations of which make it unlikely that the emergence of supercentenarians has not taken place there.

Supercentenarians by Year of Birth

Supercentenarians by Year of Birth

January 16, 2016; The numbers of verified supercentenarians have risen rapidly over recent years. For definitions on what constitutes a “verified” or “validated” supercentenarian, see our supercentenarians homepage. Due to the rise in the number of applications to the GRG, pending cases are those which have submitted documentation but have yet to be reviewed. However, pending cases are very likely to become verified in the near future, and therefore provide a greater insight into the true numbers of supercentenarians.

Pending cases consist of cases from all decades. Due to digitisation of newspaper records and genealogical records, many previously unknown supercentenarians are still being discovered. Therefore, the data is still a work in progress, especially for more recent years. As you can see from the graph, new supercentenarians are still being identified from the 1850s and 1860s cohorts.

A large proportion of pending cases are from more recent years, such as 1903. This is due to the time taken to review cases and that cases are generally reviewed in the order they were submitted.

While only 16 verified and pending supercentenarians born throughout the 1850s have so far been identified, figures suggest that there are currently 178 verified and pending supercentenarians who were born in 1903. We roughly observe a doubling of supercentenarians each decade, and we anticipate that numbers of supercentenarians will continue to rise rapidly.

World’s Oldest Person

World's Oldest Person

January 16, 2016; The age of the World’s Oldest Living Woman has steadily increased since 1955. During the 1960s and 1970s, the oldest woman was on average aged 110-112, whereas since 2000, this has increased to 114-116.

During the 1990s, the age of the oldest woman was unusually high due to the exceptional lifespans of Jeanne Calment (died aged 122 in 1997), Marie-Louise Meilleur (died aged 117 in 1998), and Sarah Knauss (died aged 119 in 1999). At the time, it was thought that these ages could become more commonplace. However it is more likely that they are statistical outliers with none of these ages being surpassed after 2000.

Similarly, the age of the World’s Oldest Living Man has increased slightly. Only 10 verified male supercentenarians are known to have existed before 1980. During the 1980s, it was more typical for the oldest man to be aged 110-112, whereas in recent years this is now closer to 112-114.

Age Ranks

Age Ranks

August 4, 2016; The age of the oldest living person varies considerably. Since the 1990s, the oldest living person has been aged as old as 122 years, and as young as 113 years. However, this does not reflect either how many supercentenarians were living at those times, or how supercentenarians were distributed in terms of their age.

Since the early 1990s, the ages of the 10th, 25th, and 50th oldest living person in the world have all steadily increased. The age of the 10th oldest living person in the early 1990s was around 112-113 years. By the early 2010s, this has increased to around 113-114 years – by around one year.

Similarly, the age of the 25th oldest living person in the early 1990s was around 111-111.5 years. We now routinely see this rank being held by someone aged 112.5-113 years – an increase of around one and a half years. While in the early 1990s, the 50th oldest person was aged around 110 years, this has increased considerably to 111.5-112 years, or by one and a half to two years.

Large gaps between ranks suggest a degree of unsustainability. As was observed in late 2004, the 10th oldest living person was more than one and a half years older than the 25th oldest living person. Large gaps in age between ranks mean that the age of a particular rank will drop more rapidly in the event of a death. Consequently during 2006, the age gap between the 10th and 25th ranks had contracted to almost 6 months.

Lower ranks have seen the most rapid increases in age. This may in part be due to the 1990s producing an exceptional number of extremely old supercentenarians. While the 1990s maintained fewer supercentenarians per year than the 2010s, the 1990s had a considerable number of outliers. As of July 2016, only five people have been verified to have lived to 117 years, and four of these died in the 1990s.

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