National Records of Scotland

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Number of Centenarians in Scotland Continues to Increase

Number of Centenarians in Scotland Continues to Increase

Wednesday, 30 Sep 2015
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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) estimate that in 2014 there were 910 centenarians living in Scotland.

Tim Ellis, the Chief Executive of National Records of Scotland 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.”

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 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).

Since 2004, the number of centenarians relative to the rest of the population has increased. But there are still less than two centenarians for every 10,000 people (1.7 per 10,000).

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.

The full publications Centenarians in Scotland 2004 to 2014 and Sub-national Population Estimates for ages 90 and over are available on this website.