Sister André, doyen of humanity and, therefore, of the French, is died in the night between Monday and Tuesday, at the age of 118. From now on, our new principal would be a 112-year-old Vendée, explains Laurent Toussaint, a specialist in extreme longevity in France. A figure to be taken with tweezers because it is possible that an elderly person is not yet known, warns the specialist.
Few centenarians over 105 years old
In France, the number of centenarians has been growing for fifty years. According to INSEE, France had 21,000 centenarians in 2016. Twenty times more than between 1960 and 1975, when there were 1,100 people over 100. Overall, “the number of centenarians has increased by 7% a year” since 1975, notes the statistical office.
When we look more closely at the ages of centenarians, only 507 of them are over 105 years old. “Three quarters are under 103 and nine out of ten are under 105”, INSEE points out. There is also a growing disparity between men and women as they age. According to 2016 data, 63% of octogenarians, 73% of nonagenarians and 84% of centenarians are women. At age 107 and over, there are 506 women for… 1 single man.
France has the largest number of centenarians in Europe
With its 21,000 centenarians in 2016, France is the European country that has the most. Hardly surprising because with an average life expectancy for women of 85.6 years, France is in 2nd place, according to data fromEurostat. A longevity in our country that can be explained by “a temperate climate” and the “Cretan diet (rich in fruit, vegetables, cereals, etc.)”, explains Laurent Toussaint to our colleagues at TF1. “These two criteria mean that we have a large number of centenarians.”
According to another INSEE indicator, “out of 10,000 people aged 60 in 1973, 146 became centenarians in 2013, which puts France first in Europe”, ahead of Spain (120), Italy (117), Switzerland (90 ) and Portugal (84).
Towards an explosion of centenarians in 50 years
According to INSEE projections, there should be an explosion of centenarians in the coming years. 4.2% of women born in 1930 will be centenarians in 2030, compared to 1% of men. In 2060, 9.6% of women and 3.8% of men born in 1960 will reach the age of 100. In less than 40 years, in fact, centenarians could be seven times more numerous than today, according to the National Institute for Demographic Studies (INED), which estimates the number of centenarians at 27,500 in 2021. In 2060, metropolitan France could therefore have nearly 200,000 people over the age of 100.
If a boy or girl is born now, what chance does he have of becoming a centenarian?
Again according to INSEE, “between 15% and 48% of girls and between 9% and 31% of boys born in 2016” could become centenarians, depending on the hypothesis. Very wide ranges due to the very long projection and extension of mortality trends up to 2116.