Number of centenarians in Scotland reaches record levels

Ron Taylor is one of Scotland's ever growing population of centenarians.
Ron Taylor is one of Scotland's ever growing population of centenarians.
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THE NUMBER of people living to 100 in Scotland has grown by nearly four-fifths in a decade, official records suggest.

There were 910 centenarians living in Scotland in 2014, a rise of 78 per cent from 510 in 2004, figures published today by the National Records of Scotland (NRS) estimate.

There has also been a 42 per cent rise in people living to 90, with a big upsurge between 2010 and 2012 due to a record number of births in 1920 as families were reunited after WWI.

Scotland lags behind England and Wales in the proportion of people aged over 90, reflecting the generally higher life expectancy south of the border, according to corresponding figures by the UK Office for National Statistics.

In 2014, in England and Wales as a whole, there were 870 people aged 90 and over per 100,000 population, the highest proportion across the UK’s different countries.

In Scotland, there were 739 people aged 90 and over per 100,000 population and in Northern Ireland there were 654. NRS chief executive Tim Ellis said: “The number of people in Scotland aged 100 or more has been steadily rising. Between 2004 and 2014 the numbers rose from 510 to 910, a growth of 78 per cent.

“In 2014 there were 17 male centenarians per hundred female centenarians, an increase from 11 in 2004, reflecting a narrowing of the gap in mortality between men and women for this age group.

“Estimates of the number of people aged 90 to 99 show relatively big increases between 2010 and 2012.

“This is partly due to births in the years following the First World War 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.”

The overwhelming majority of centenarians are women.

In 2014, women accounted for 780 of Scotland’s centenarians (86 per cent) while 130 men had reached the milestone.

Although the male population aged 90 to 99 increased from 2013 to 2014, almost three-quarters of people in their 90s are women (72 per cent). Within Scotland, South Ayrshire had the highest proportion of centenarians and Clackmannanshire had the lowest. Glasgow City had the highest absolute number of centenarians and Clackmannanshire the lowest.