There has been a 57% rise in the number of centenarians in the last decade. Woman over 100 outnumber men, although longer life expectancy for men is beginning to narrow the gap. There has also been a significant rise in the number of people in their 90s, in part because of a marked increase in the number of births in 1920 and 1921. The figures were based on analysis of the 2011 census.
With some forecasts showing that a quarter of babies born in the UK last year will live to see their 100th birthday, we can certainly expect to see the number of centenarians rise. The challenge will be to ensure healthy life expectancy keeps pace with longer life expectancies, however sadly Scotland is doing less well than the rest of the UK in that regard, particularly for males.
Governments can make a difference, by ensuring our public services are reshaped to respond better to individuals’ needs, and by putting more emphasis on prevention of health and social problems. However each of us can maximise our chance of enjoying a good quality of life at age 100 by taking heed of advice, whatever our age, for healthy lifestyles and active ageing.
Doug Anthoney is Age Scotland Communication and Campaigns Officer. This post is part of the ‘Tomorrow’s Fish and Chip paper’ article series reporting the hot topics Age Scotland has been discussing with the media each week, and the Charity’s response.