Record number of Scots living to the age of 100
THE numbers of Scots living for 100 years or more has reached record levels with a dramatic increase in centenarians during the last decade, newly-released figures have revealed.
• Records show there were more than 800 people over the age of 100 in Scotland last year
• Conservative health spokesman warns of ageing population’s strain on health resources
• Earlier this week a damning report on the care of elderly people at Edinburgh Royal Infirmary was released
There were 830 centenarians in Scotland last year compared to 580 in 2002 – an increase of 43 per cent, according to estimated figures in a report published yesterday.
More Scots are living beyond 100 due to rising living standards, improved health care and better hygiene over recent decades, the report’s authors from the National Records of Scotland said.
The report found that the increase in those aged more than 100 in Scotland’s population was a trend that was “expected to carry on increasing in the foreseeable future”.
Women make up the bulk of the over-100 population, with the number of female centenarians rising from 520 to 700 between 2002 and 2011.
The number of male centenarians more than doubled between 2002 and 2011 from 60 to 130 during the same period, the figures showed.
Centenarians “are still rare” in Scotland, the report said, although it showed that the number in the total population increased from 1.1 per 10,000 in 2002, to 1.6 per 10,000 in 2011.
The authors of the report said that Scots aged over 100 were the fastest growing age group. Their figures were based on the 2001 census.
The report said: “Since the 1950s, centenarians have been growing at a faster rate than any other age group. This
increase in centenarians has been largely driven by increased survival rates of older people, as the result of improvements in hygiene, sanitation, medical treatment, housing and living standards in general.
“In recent years, there has been an increased interest in estimating the population of very elderly people in Scotland, as survival rates are expected to carry on increasing in the foreseeable future.
“These statistics, therefore, give an important insight into the most rapidly growing age-group of Scotland’s population.”
Meanwhile, there was also a sharp increase in the number of Scots living into their 90s in recent years, with the figure for people aged 90 to 99 rising from 29,400 in 2002 to 36,970 in 2011 – an increase of 26 per cent.
Although the numbers of centenarians in Scotland stayed between 580 and 640 between 2002 and 2007, there was a sharp increase between 2007 and 2011 as the figure went from 720 in 2008 to 830 last year
Audrey Robertson, acting registrar general for Scotland, said: “The number of centenarians living in Scotland has been steadily rising. Around eight out of every ten centenarians are women. Estimates of the number of people aged 90 to 99 show relatively big increases in 2010 and 2011.
“This is partly due to births in 1920 and 1921 being much higher than in the preceding years.
“The number of births in 1920 was the highest since the introduction of national registration in 1855.
“A century ago living to a hundred was very uncommon, but this changed at the beginning of the 21st century when estimates showed there were over 500 people aged 100 years old and over in Scotland. The number of centenarians has been increasing ever since.”
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