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100 years old and counting!

Published: Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013 4:29 p.m. CDT

The 2010 Census counted 53,364 people age 100 and older in the United States, and they were overwhelmingly female. For every 100 centenarian women, there were only 20.7 centenarian men.

These figures come from a special report based on the 2010 Census that provides a portrait of the centenarian population in the United States describing their age, sex, race, Hispanic origin and living arrangement characteristics. The report, Centenarians: 2010, also compares centenarians with other age groups in the older population.

According to the report, the population 100 and older made up a small proportion of the total U.S. population — representing less than two per 10,000 people. Centenarians represented 19 per 10,000 people who were 70 and older. More than half (62.5 percent) of centenarians were age 100 or 101 while roughly 92 percent were ages 100 to 104. Supercentenarians — those ages 110 and older — represented 0.6 percent of the centenarian population.

The 2010 Census showed that centenarians were less diverse than the total U.S. population. In 2010, 82.5 percent of centenarians were white alone, compared with 72.4 percent white alone in the total population. Among centenarians, 5.8 percent were Hispanic while the total population was 16.3 percent Hispanic.

Centenarian women were slightly more likely to live in a nursing home (35.2 percent), and centenarian men were more likely to be living with others in a household (43.5 percent) than any other living arrangement.

Comparing living arrangements across race and Hispanic-origin groups shows considerable differences in the living arrangements of each group’s oldest members.

Centenarians who were white or non-Hispanic had the highest likelihood of living alone (36.4 percent and 35.0 percent, respectively.)

In 2010, 85.7 percent of centenarians lived in an urban area. Most lived in the South (17,444), followed by the Midwest (13,112), Northeast (12,244) and West (10,564). States with the largest total populations generally had the most centenarians. California had the largest number of centenarians (5,921), followed by New York, Florida and Texas. Alaska had the fewest centenarians (40), followed by Wyoming (72), Vermont (133) and Delaware (146).

In Illinois, there were 2,419 people 100 or older, or 0.0189 percent of the population.

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