Thursday 17 January 2019

Four times more women than men living to age 100

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Sarah Slater

More women than men continue to reach the age of 100, latest statistics show.

Figures released by the Department of Employment Affairs and Social Protection for the past three years show that 577 women compared to 138 men became centenarians - over four times more.

Last year, 192 women turned 100 while a much smaller number of men, 55, reached the momentous mark. In 2017, even fewer men hit the age of 100, 39 compared with 189 women. And in 2016, 196 women and just 44 men celebrated their 100th birthday.

Under the Centenarian Bounty scheme, each person reaching the age of 100 receives a congratulatory letter from President Michael D Higgins, as well as a cheque for €2,540.

The award is given to all people, Irish and foreign nationals alike, resident here on their 100th birthday, as well as Irish nationals living abroad.

The bounty was introduced by Douglas Hyde.

A total of €627,380 was paid out for 2018. Over the past three years, more than €1.8m was given to centenarians.

Diarmuid O'Shea, president of the Irish Gerontological Society, said: "Ageing affects each and every one of us. This is not an abstract discussion, it's a very real one and we are all living it.

"By the year 2050, 56pc of the world's population will be over the age of 65 and 90pc of those will be more than 80.

"In 1900, the average life expectancy was 50, by the end of this century it will be over the 100 mark."

Irish Independent

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