In the year 2000, the United Nations estimated that there were more than 180,000 people over the age of 100 throughout the world, a figure that will jump to 3.2 million by the year 2050. Centenarians make up the fastest-growing section of the population in developed countries. In Australia, for example, nearly 3,000 people were over the age of 100 in 2009 and this number is predicted to explode to 78,000 by 2055.
If you are a 55-year-old Australian reading this today, you have a 10 percent chance of living to 101 if you’re a man and of reaching 103 if you’re a woman. For babies born today the odds are even better – 18.1 percent for boys and 23.5 percent for girls.
So, what’s the secret?
If only we knew. Despite dozens of studies on centenarians, there doesn’t seem to be a typical life pattern or history shared by these long-lived people. Still, researchers say that they have found some similarities.
People who live to 100 and beyond tend to:
1. Complain less about pain and discomfort than younger people with fewer disabilities, suggesting that centenarians are better at adapting to what life hands them.
2. Remain intellectually stimulated
3. Maintain satisfying social relationships
4. Keep their interests in creative activities
5. Have few sleep problems
6. Become anxious or depressed only rarely
7. Find great solace in their religious faith
8. Be financially secure
9. Believe that they can be happy
10. Be extroverted