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What Are the Odds of Living to 100?


  By: Hart Parris

Recently I heard that 150 million people are living on land that will be under water by the year 2050. I immediately checked to see if I would still be around and sure enough, I would have to live to 100 to see that! And that got me thinking about what my odds are to make it that long.

Zipping around the internet, I found lots of article on that very subject and found out some cool stuff like where in the United States it is best to live to increase your odds of living to see 100…Tip: not Texas…

I also found out that actually Japan is the best place for longevity but hold up – Japan is one of those places that will be largely under water by 2050. Its a “damned if you do and damned if you don’t” kind of thing. I do however, have the advantage of being a woman – and we all know women live longer than men and that holds true here in a rather significant manner. Women make up 82.8% of individuals age 100 years and older while men make up just 17.2%. says:

Life expectancy is up as people are living longer than ever before, thanks to a number of factors including improvements in health science and technology. However, living to the age of 100 remains a remarkable and somewhat rare feat. Individuals aged 100 or older, referred to as centenarians, make up less than one percent of the U.S. population. What are the odds that you’ll live to age 100?

Centenarians around the world do significantly better than Americans.

Centenarians in the United States

According to the U.S. Census Special Report on Centenarians, in 2010, there were 53,364 centenarians in the United States or 1.73 per 10,000 people in the total population. The Centenarian Special Report also shed light on a few interesting facts about centenarians alive today:

Centenarians are more common in some states and regions in the U.S. than in others

There are state and border regional differences within the United States in terms of just what share of the population has reached the 100+ mark. Centenarians comprise a higher proportion of the total regional population in the Midwest and Northeast and a lower share in South and the West.

Overall, the trend for life expectancy is one of increase. Since 1970, life expectancy in the U.S. has risen by nearly a decade, from 70.8 years to 79 years today I “ran the numbers on a site called and the results were surprising to say the least. This is a quiz that requires you to “fess up” on things like smoking, fast food, exercise, etc. That said, I should probably knock off a couple of years. 

But it does give one pause to imagine what this world will look like in 2050.Perhaps I should start taking swimming lessons…just in case.

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