Featured Image Credit: Gerontology/Megapress/Alamy Stock Photo
The secret to longevity? Living in Japan, apparently.
Data from the country's health ministry revealed its average life expectancy rose to record highs in 2020, reaching 87.74 for women and 81.64 for men, while the number of people aged 100 years or older is estimated to have hit a record number of 86,510.
The most recent data, which was shared in September 2021, revealed the number of centenarians increased by 6,060 compared to the year prior.
There are now more than 86,000 people in Japan who are over 100 years old— UberFacts (@UberFacts) July 30, 2022
The figure marked the 51st consecutive year of rise in people aged 100 or older in the country, with women accounting for 88.4 percent of those who have reached or passed the milestone age. There were a total of 76,450 women included in the figure, an increase of 5,475 from a year earlier, and a total of 10,060 men; an increase of 585.
It marked a dramatic rise from the figure recorded when the survey started in 1963, when the number of centenarians in the country stood at 153. The figure passed 1,000 in 1981 and continued to increase to pass 10,000 in 1998, with the rising figures due mainly to advances in medical technology.
At the time the data was released, Mikizo Ueda of Nara Prefecture was recognised as the oldest Japanese man at 111 years old.
The oldest Japanese woman was named as then-118-year-old Kane Tanaka, who was recognised by the Guinness World Records as the oldest woman in the world after being born in 1903.
Tanaka passed away in April at the age of 119, when she was just a few years short of becoming the oldest person ever. That title still belongs to France's Jeanne Louise Calment, who passed away in 1997 aged 122 years 164 days.
The current population of Japan is estimated to be 125.6 million, with the data revealing the prefecture of Shimane boasted the highest number of centenarians per 100,000 people for the ninth straight year.
Shimane had 134.75 within the bracket, followed by Kochi at 126.29 and Kagoshima at 118.74.
Following the death of Tanaka, Guinness World Records said the titles for the oldest person living and oldest female living are currently being investigated.
The number of Brits living to the age of 100 also hit a record high in data revealed in September 2021, when the Office for National Statistics revealed the number of 100-year-olds increased by 52 percent from 4,980 in 2019 to 7,590 in 2020.
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