Number of centenarians stable

30/05/2006 14:00

Last year, the number of centenarians was marginally reduced. On 1 January this year, 1,374 centenarians were registered in the Netherlands compared to 1,381 on 1 January 2005. Only one in seven centenarians are men.

Centenarians by gender and age

Centenarians by gender and age

No increase expected in the near future

In the middle of the twentieth century, there were only about forty people living in the Netherlands who had attained the age of one hundred years or more. As from 1960, a per-decade doubling trend was observed, but the increase decelerated around 1990. This was mainly the effect of an increased mortality risk for men in the period running from the late 1960s to the early 1980s. In that period, the number of potential centenarians increased at a lower rate. The scant increase of inhabitants in the 95-100 age group is expected to curb the number of centenarians in the years to come, as the mortality risk of people in the highest age category hardly changes.

Centenarians by age, 2006

Centenarians by age, 2006

Half of centenarians one hundred years old

Currently, one in every 12 thousand inhabitants of the Netherlands are at least one hundred years old. The proportion of centenarians has risen continually over the past decades. In 1980, there was one centenarian in every 37 thousand inhabitants. Nearly half of centenarians currently alive was 100 years old and one third was 101. These proportions have hardly changed in the course of time.

Centenarians by gender and marital status, 2006

Centenarians by gender and marital status, 2006

Most female centenarians have never been married

Surveys conducted in the past show that many centenarians enjoy good health.  Approximately one quarter are still living on their own. They are usually single.
Some 12 percent of female centenarians never married; a large share relative to younger age groups. Nearly all men, on the other hand, were married or are still married. A striking 14 percent of male centenarians are still living with their spouses.

Joop Garssen