National Records of Scotland

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Number of Centenarians in Scotland Continues to Increase

Number of Centenarians in Scotland Continues to Increase

Tuesday, 1 Oct 2013
Number of Centenarians in Scotland Continues to Increase

The number of people in Scotland living for more than a century continues to grow.

Figures published today by the National Records of Scotland (NRS), based on the 2011 Census, estimate that in 2012 there were 800 centenarians living in Scotland. 

NRS Chief Executive Tim Ellis said:

“The number of centenarians living in Scotland has been steadily rising, from 510 in 2001 to 800 in 2012, which is a growth of 57 per cent. 

“In 2012 there were 18 male centenarians per hundred female centenarians, an increase from 13 in 2001, indicating 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 in 2011 and 2012. 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.

The overwhelming majority of centenarians are women. In 2012, women accounted for 680 (85 per cent) of Scotland’s centenarians while 120 men had reached the milestone. In 2012, almost three quarters of people in their 90s were women (73 per cent).

Since 2001, the number of centenarians relative to the rest of the population has increased. However, there are still less than 2 centenarians for every 10,000 people (1.5 per 10,000).

The full publication, Centenarians in Scotland 2011 & 2012, is available on the NRS website