The following tables describe the known
as maintained by the The Los Angeles Gerontology Research Group on a world-wide basis.
* By definition, a supercentenarian is a validated human centenarian who has attained the age of 110 years or more.
[Certain of these tables were last updated on Sunday, May 5, 2013]
Persons listed in the tables below have reached the age of 110 according to the following
(1) Tables of authenticated national longevity records or other mentions in the Guinness Book of (World) Records in various editions from 1970 on (except for Thiers [1956 Edition] and Turner [1968 Edition]);
(2) They have been otherwise mentioned (usually in press reports) as having passed muster with the documentation standards of the Guinness Book; or
(3) They have been verified by official records and generally supported by demographic research.
We intentionally omit individuals who did not make it past 109 years of age, since they are much too numerous for us to attempt to list them here.
Background of the Tables:
These tables were created with the help of an international team of researchers including professional demographers, university-based biologists, as well as a few highly dedicated amateurs who have devoted countless hours over the last several years to the largely thankless task of maintaining the tables as accurately as possible. Along the way, many journalists from different parts of the world, who normally write human-interest stories on local celebrities, have assisted us in our contacts with family members who in turn provide official documentation. Nursing home staff in various parts of the country have also been extremely helpful. Note that our contributors work diligently to meet the challenge of numerous pretenders to membership whose documentation is either forged or missing for a variety of reasons. These individuals have been systematically omitted. Furthermore, our Tables are certainly incomplete in that, for the less-developed countries, many individuals, who may have valid claims, have incomplete documentation (like only a family Bible) since official documents never existed in these countries, if and when they began keeping census records at all. Besides Birth Certificates, Baptismal Certificates are also used when available. Also, we may not even know about some of these people, and their families may have no incentive to inform scientists or government officials just because demographers happen to be gratuitously interested in this subject.
TABLE E -- CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF LIVING SUPERCENTENARIANS
Note: See below for Historical Table E year-by-year data dating from 1975.
As of May 5, 2013, we have
58 Living Supercentenarians on this list (52 Females and 6 Males)
Current GRG Table of Worldwide
Validated Living Supercentenarians
Scroll down in Table E for information about Recent Deaths
March 11, 2012; Today, Mr. Robert Young of Atlanta, GA has provided us with a new
Excel Spread Sheet listing the numbers of 114 yo Supercentenarians by rank throughout
recent history, starting with the year 1987. He has called this table... The
114 Plus Population Table. As you scroll down, it
reveals an "ebb and flow" of the 114+ Supercentenarian population since it began emerging in
the late 1980's. After what appeared to have been a period of slow growth in the period from
[1987 - 1993], the data since then appears to be operating in an oscillating, wave-like pattern.
The peak of nine living 114+ year-olds in 2004 was mostly due to a a cluster of 114th birthdays
in rapid succession. Conversely, declines in the number were associated with long periods of "no
114 yo birthdays." This suggests that what may appear to be increases and decreases are in fact
due to random variation. This pattern of variation resembles ocean waves breaking on the shore:
They go in and out, depending on the tides, but operate within a specific range.
[Editor's Note: This Wave Hypothesis is consistent with the notion of "The Calment Limit," a fuzzy upper limit to maximum human lifespan embedded within the human genome even though average life expectancy has gone up systematically in the developed world due to the discoveries of vaccines, antibiotics, and obstetrical/surgical techniques over the last century. The issue of an ostensible plateau in the Gompertz exponential rise (positive slope on semi-log paper) described as a "flattening of the mortality rate around age 90" in the human population has yet to be determined in the coming weeks as we reevaluate our latest data in the light of a significant number of recent deaths occurring unexpectedly at age 114.]
May 15, 2010; We are working on a new format for Table E based on newer data base technology compared with Microsoft Excel that we hope will permanently replace the current version by June 1st. This Beta Test version was developed by Johnny Adams, our Data Base Administrator, in collaboration with Robert Young, our Senior Data Base Analyst. To see what it looks like, click on New Format Table E. - Steve Coles, System Administrator
June 13, 2012; Click for historical Table E data as of January 1st of the year from 1971 to
May 5, 2013; Click for the Deaths from 1999 to the present year.
Some of the tables above were formatted with the help of Mr. Mark E. Muir of Virginia.
June 13, 2012; For Pending Cases that are under currently under consideration, click on Table EE. These cases have already provided us with at least one document.
There are now more than 45 contributors and their associated staff from the following countries: USA, Canada, England, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Netherlands, Belgium, Australia, and Japan. The list is compiled for publication by Mr. Louis Epstein of New York or Mr. Robert Young of Atlanta, GA with the assistance of Mr. Johnny Adams of Orange County, CA and Mr. Mark Muir of Virginia. A more complete list of contributors is available on the List of International Correspondents located on the GRG website.
For reasons of privacy, details of these individuals' supporting documentation are on file either with Messrs. Louis Epstein of New York or Robert Young of Atlanta, GA and could be made available to legitimate demographic researchers upon request. A uniquely important feature of our research protocol is the focus on persons whose age has been thoroughly validated. For a rigorous validation of the age of a Supercentenarian, it is in many instances necessary to work with personal information For example, in some countries the actual name of a person is needed to retrieve and match birth and death certificates. Appropriate procedures and rules will be designed to protect the confidential nature of personal information, taking into account prevailing data and protection laws in different countries. For example, Germany has different laws from France and the UK. Data protection procedures and rules adopted by the GRG and the IDL (International Data Base on Longevity) are governed by the general principle that private data about individual persons should not be possible from the information that will eventually be included in a public database unless it is essential for identification purposes. For example, among these rules is the provision that only specially-trained validation personnel will have access to private personal information (like addresses, phone numbers, names of family members, and so on). This sort of private personal information will not be made available to researchers and other individuals who are external to the validation process and will not be included in any public version of the database.
February 17, 2003; Question for the Editor by Mr. Christian Quast on the seemingly-paradoxical preponderance of Americans in Table A and a reply by Mr. Robert Young of Atlanta, Georgia, which presents a brief history of human longevity studies in general and the demographics of these Tables in particular.
TABLE A -- CHRONOLOGICAL LISTING OF ALL SUPERCENTENARIANS
Click for Table A.
===================NOTES FOR TABLE A=======================
Editor's Note: The "as-of" dates on those individuals without death dates are occasionally inconsistent.
Mr. Louis Epstein of New York has contributed Tables [A - D] along with the Notes that follow. He may be reached at email@example.com if you have any pertinent questions. We also wish to acknowledge the contributions of Mr. Robert Young and many others who have provided us with the benefit of their extensive investigational effort.
** For the purposes of this Table, women's Maiden Names (when known) are parenthesized and followed by their married names, regardless of their native homeland practice. The Guinness Book has often used hyphenations particular to different countries.**
There have doubtless been other authenticated 110-year-old claims for countries with higher records. As of now the only countries where such data has been thoroughly surveyed, it seems, are Sweden, Belgium, the Netherlands, and the UK (only for England and Wales). However, with regard to persons migrating between countries no population has been surveyed exhaustively. In Japan and the United States surveys have been attempted that are complete only for recent years.
Bowerman, 1939, accepted as validated Joubert (formerly accepted by Guinness
and since discredited), Neve, Thiers (in Guinness from early dates, not specifically
discredited), Plunket (regarded as rather solidly validated), and Filkins (only regarded as
validated by Guinness from 1976 edition onwards),as having lived to 110 years or more,
and also the following two cases:
(1) "Mrs. Ann Alexander Pouder (April 8, 1807 to July 10, 1917) age 110 years, 93 days. Authenticated by the Genealogical Record Office, Washington, D.C., by Dr. Alexander Graham Bell, inventor, and the Health Department, Baltimore, MD. Born in England; died at Baltimore, MD"
(2) "Mrs. Miriam Sparks Voisey Bannister (March 19, 1817 to April 9, 1928) age 111 years, 21 days. She was authenticated by Prof. Irving.Fisher, New Haven, CT, and Alexander S. Mann of St. Louis, also the Census Bureau at Washington, D.C. born at Salcombe Regis, Devonshire, ENGLAND. She died in St. Louis, MO. She was congratulated by the King of England as `The oldest living British subject,' shortly before her death."
Izykowska is accepted by Warsaw authorities, but was born in Ukraine.
Shirahama, Ikai, Utagawa, Miyanaga, Takii, Matsunaga, Akino, Kayo, Ishisaki, Hongo, Tsugawa, Fujisawa, Fujii,Tsuru, Koja, C. Nakamura, Ishii, Fukaya, M. Ito, Misawa, Iwasaki, Tani, Hashimoto, Takenaka, Tanaka, Nagayama, Nakasone, Hasegawa, Moriyama, Fukuhara, Ue, and Higa are accepted by Japanese authorities but have not appeared in a Guinness Edition that I have read. Kawamoto has been accepted by Japanese scholars but was never shown as Guinness Japanese recordholder, although she would have been.Kitai, Okuhara, Ishiguro, Yashiro, Tanabe, Oikawa, Chuganji, Kawate, Ichikawa, Taba, Koga, Kitagawa, Sugiyama, and Koyama are on a list from Japanese records compiled by Yasuhiko Saito. Chuganji has been accepted by Guinness. An unclear number of additional Japanese cases are considered documented but insufficient particulars are known to list them. In some cases even names are not available. Most such cases are under 111, but the oldest is Hide Ohira, born September 15, 1880, alive September 1994, dead by July 1995.
Japanese records apparently acknowledge Yaso Kobayashi (March 2,1846 -- May 29, 1964), but she was never accepted by Guinness; Guinness did not recognize Jubee Nakamura (June 10,1852 May 4, 1969).
Kinase is accepted based on Japanese and American records.
Batariu was accepted by Romanian authorities;
Teillet, Perignon, Vellard, Chabanny, Fourcade, Delhom, Dumaine, Bremont, Faron, Esnault, Roux, Baudouin, Petit,Colas, Renaud, Hemery, Campistron, LaFaye, Daigneau, Jourdan, Hutin, Dormois, Sadron, Fleury, Haye, Soboul by French;
Jespersen by Danish;
Riudavets by Spanish;
Sanna, Todde, Frau, Fumarola by Italian;
Smith-Johannsen, Svehaug, and Svisdal by Norwegian authorities.
Cleggett is included based on a genealogist's family reconstruction apparently from Australian records. Cock and Mears are authenticated based on Australian birth and marriage records; Yeomans likewise and also on death record; Correll on birth and death records. M. Hurley is authenticated based on correlations between several Australian family records.
Vietoris is accepted by Austrian authorities, and is a mathematician of some renown.
Beland, Munce, Thompson, Morton, Rollock, L. Ross, Lyman, McCague, Bibeault, Vigneault, Despars, Lauzon, Ouellet, Macdonald, Saulnier, Bertrand, and Marinier are accepted based on Canadian records.
Ives is accepted based on English birth and military records and Canadian death records; Schaffner on Canadian birth records and United States death records.
Booth's birth is recorded in New Zealand. Some sources give her maiden name as Davis.
Van Dam is accepted by the Dutch authorities, as are Hendrikse, van Dommelen, Roelinga, and Flower, who unlike other Dutch listees apparently never even made Dutch Editions of Guinness.Van Andel, Schellevis, and Bos are also accepted by Dutch authorities.
Van Sprengel, Casteur, Ververs, and De Ruyver were accepted by Belgian authorities, as is DeRoover; Van Sprengel broke the country's Guinness record while they still printed tables, but was ignored (we are not sure if they questioned her authenticity or were simply unaware).
Estella Jones, doubted by the Social Security Administration, has been said to be accepted by
The Georgia Centenarian Study but they disavow this; they recognize McDaniel Foote,
Floyd*, Spencer, J. Williams, I. Williams, Anna Williams, Wilson*, Bookout, Vanderkarr, C.
Phillips*, A. Phillips, L. Phillips, Morrison, Blackistone, Neu, Bruder, Harlan, L. Jones,
Katherine Jones, Maud Jones, Margaret Jones, S. Day, Spooner, Nash, Wilcox, Bloodsworth,
Bay*, Pandazes, I. Turner, Bettencourt, L. Bruss,A. Bruss, Estella Foster, Edith Foster, Jobe,
Cawthorne, Keeney, W. Harris, A. Harris, Joe Thomas, Wolcott, Schmidt, J. Frank*, I. Frank, L.
Hart, Keller, Broyles, McCord, Bossong, Watson, Callahan, Nutt, G. Scott, Samuel, Cheney,
Burnett, Richey, Grundman, Ford, K. Snyder, Emanuel, Bruneau, Cottrell, Cote, M. Livingston,
L. Livingston, Dunning, Savage, Garcia, Fulmer, O. Matthews, M. Matthews, Bushey, Land,
Sagendorph, Bodie, Aiken, Lewis, Dunlap, Hiehle, Humphrey, Alligier, Wiggins, Mayer, M.
Ross, Huber, Frazier, Wriggle, Brownell, Spickard, Shively, Ryan, Magner, May, Robeson, K.
Brown, A. Brown, Viar, Pfeiffer, Burress, Harrison, Zackry, Bennett, Bailes, Potts, Carlson, I.
Smith, J. Smith, Sanders, Sartori, M. Johnson, N. Johnson, J. Johnson, E. Johnson, Carrier,
Lazenby, Snow, Solum, Heller, North, E. Norris, Osgood, Fillebrown, Evinger, Spratt, Long, B.
Cole, O'Sullivan, Sather, Decker, Curren, Stout, Lowe, Shebanek, Freehling, Bullington,
Kirschbaum, Markle, Prata, Norwood, Barney, Varnum, Fisher, Bowden, Keen, Ellis, Wickens,
Lambropoulos, Sims, Sloat, Page, Neidig, Dehay, Parks, Parker, O'Rourke, Greenwald, Minnie
Davenport, Kingsbury, Flathers, Satchell, Foster , Bassich, Pike, Richards, Spyker, Cone, Saggs,
Richardson, Nelson, Pautz, Freeman, Ricks, MacLachlan, O'Hern, Wormer, King, Sanderlin,
Bechtoldt, Ragland, Redwine, Strother, Annand, F. Miller, Wilkerson, Burford, Roberts, C.
Davis, B. Davis, Sgroi, Godfrey, Trueblood, Payne, Murdock, Barckley, Waldern, Shumate,
Delfino, Laplace, M. Carpenter, Rooker, Johns, Nickens, Kelley, Larue, Athmann, Stewart,
Emerson, Hamilton, Fiore, DeArroyo, Coffin, Rodgers, Rittenhouse, Moore, Tapley, Ray, A.
Rust, and Zeilman are from a survey of United States records.
In the asterisked (*) cases the precise death dates are believed to have been possibly manufactured as public records only give month of death and the date provided seems assumed. Additional precise dates may be less obviously manufactured... A significant number of the pre-1989 death among these do not have exact death dates recorded in the files from which the survey drew.
Grahn, Lindahl, Moberg, E. Johansson, Eriksson, Jenny Karlsson, and Engberg are accepted by the Swedish authorities, specifically respected by Guinness. Silverdahl was born and married in Sweden, and emigrated to the United States where she eventually died. Svensson was born in Denmark, and moved to Sweden with her age accepted there. Holcomb was initially submitted to the list maintainer by a family member, and the Guinness Book subsequently authenticated him, regarding him as the oldest authenticated man in the world as of May 2000. In late July they said they "expected to formally recognize" Todde "by Autumn," but this had not been completed as of early November. Apparently it was by December. Fred Hale is enrolled in the New England Centenarian Study, and a family member has cited sufficient documentation to our list maintainer.
A family member for Maud Farris Luse has likewise provided documentation, and she was subsequently accepted by Guinness. A family member of Nellie Cross has provided sufficient documentation to our list maintainer. Geneva McNicholl's family has provided documentation as well.
Benkner is documented based on German birth records and United States census and marriage records. A. Smith is documented by family birth records, educational and marriage records citing age. Luther is documented based on birth, marriage, and family records.
Annie Jennings was accepted by UK authorities and reportedly (although possibly unpublished) by Guinness. Guinness later authenticated Morris (with incorrect birthdate ten days late), Bradley, and Hulmes.
Baker is accepted based on British baptismal and American immigration, marriage, and census records; Guinness noted her based on only a subset of these as not fully authenticated.
Clawson is accepted based on British birth and American marriage and death records.
Bittlebrun, DeMuth, Hinds, N. Rust, Goding, Kirchner, Bauman, Knezaczek, Kral, Metcalf, Mead,Rich, and M. Norris were validated by E. A. Kral, who completed the work on Baker.
Heeley, Morgan, L.B. Williams, Pannell, Empleton, Hammond, Brewster, Raw, Elsbury, Phillipson, Fewster, R. Hart, Kate Jones, Tuck, Comfort, Bannell Deuchar, Maunder, Townsend,Schrimshaw, Hampshire, German, Cleverdon, E. Day, Haward, Price, A. Carpenter, Beaumont, Poole, Pettit, Gilliam, Webley, Aspland, Gale, Elizabeth Jones, and Pearce all come from a table compiled by Roger Thatcher from British records.
Donn was authenticated by the Scottish authorities.
TABLE AA: CHRONOLOGICAL LISTING OF ALL SUPERCENTENARIANS with Nationality (provided by Robert Young, GRG Senior Claims Investigator of Atlanta, GA)
There may be some temporary discrepancies with Table A above, since these tables do tend
to get updated at different times by different persons in other parts of the world, but ultimately,
over time, both Tables A and AA should converge to become identical.
Legend for the Race (R) Column:
W = White; Color = BLUE
B = Black; Color = BLACK
H = Hispanic; Color = RED
O = Oriental; Color = GREEN
As of August 9, 2007, click for Table AA .
TABLE I: CHRONOLOGICAL LISTING OF ALL SUPERCENTENARIANS LISTED BY DATE OF DEATH (SORTED BY YEAR) (Table I likewise provided by Robert Young, GRG Senior Claims Investigator of Atlanta, GA). (Updated on August 29, 2010.)
December 15, 2007, Click for Table I.
TABLE B -- RANKED BY AGE
March 21, 2012; Click for Table B .
Click for Table B from back in the year 2007.
June 19, 2011; Click for Table BB the only Table that lists both Place-of-Birth and Place-of-Death for each person, as of August 13, 2007.
October 6, 2009; Click for a Table of top 200 List of All-Time Oldest.
RANKED BY AGE AND BY DECADE OF BIRTH
Click for period before the 1870s.
(Both the age of the persons listed and the reliability of the data seem lower than on later lists.)
Click for the decade of the 1870s.
Click for the decade of the 1880s.
This list looks older than ever and can still be strengthened by living Supercentenarians on and not yet on it. (Last updated October 5, 2001).
Click for the decade of the 1890s.
It's too early to consider this fourth table complete, since there will be entries filtering in or being revised over the next 20 years or more. Nevertheless, these are the one's we know about so far - 16, from a birth-interval equal to 1 in the 1880s from which only 6 are known, the decade of the1890s being much earlier in its discovery cycle.
TABLE C -- CHRONOLOGICAL LIST OF OLDEST-LIVING PERSONS
(Listed Since 1955)
Click for Table C.
Click for Table CC as of September 11, 2007.
Click for Table CCC as of June 2, 2009.
Click for Table CCCC as of June 18, 2011.
Click for Table CCCCC as of September 17, 2012.
TABLE D -- PROGRESSIVE LIST OF RECORD HOLDERS
TABLE D -- PROGRESSIVE LIST OF RECORD HOLDERS
(After eventual authentication, not as published initially)
Click for Table D.
TABLE DD Progressive List of Record Holders as of 1785 from Robert Young
Click for Table DD.
TABLE F -- TABLE OF THE WORLD'S OLDEST MEN, SINCE 1973
March 8, 2007;
Currently, there are 20 members.
September 15, 20010; Click for Table F.
Request: Updates on any and all cases, or any additions, would be greatly appreciated. -- Louis Epstein
For demographic research purposes, Mr. Louis Epstein has kindly provided us with a revised
Table of the Emerging Population of SuperCentenarians ranging from [August 1966 -
September 1995]. Click for Table on the
SuperCentenarian Population Data to see how this population is increasing with
November 24, 2004; A revised version of the Table above was recently provided to us by Mr. Louis Epstein.
Mr. Shigechiyo Izumi of Japan was the previous Guinness record holder before Mrs. Calment surpassed him. As you can see from the Tables above, he died in February1986 at the age of 120.
December 1, 2000; We have just received a Table of British Oldest Persons who were the oldest persons alive in the UK at the time of their deaths. The Table was supplied by Louis Epstein (by way of Robert Young and Roger Thatcher as well as from The Guinness Book of Records and The Times (of London)).
September 20, 2001; Mr. Robert Young has now identified all of the Japanese Centenarian Record Holders for the time period [1978 - 2001], as derived from the Annual Japan Centenarian Report issued by the Japanese Ministry of Health and Welfare. Click to open up the Japan Table and read Mr. Young's Explanatory Notes afterward.
October 6, 2001; Mr. Robert Young has now supplied us with a "Table of the Oldest Living Persons in Japan [1975 - 2001]." Click to open up this Japanese Table.
October 24, 2001; Mr. Robert Young has now sent us a "Table of the Top 20 Centenarians in Japan" as of September 30, 2001, as originally supplied by Mr. Hiko Tamashiro. Cllick to open up this latest Top 20 Japanese Table.
October 19, 2001; Mr. Young has now provided us with a Table of the Oldest Dutch Centenarians for the time period [1959 - 2001], as derived from one of our Dutch collaborators (Mr. Gert Jan Kuiper). Click to open up the Netherlands Table and read Mr. Young's Explanatory Notes afterward.
January 3, 2009; Mr. Young has now provided us with an updated Table of the Oldest American Centenarians for the time period [1976 - 2009]. Click to open up the 2009 American Table.
In 2002, Mr. Young provided us with the previous Table of the Oldest American Centenarians for the time period [1976 - 2002]. Click to review the 2002 American Table.
He as also provided us with Table of the Oldest American Claimants for this same time period.. Click to open up the American Claimants and read the four explanatory notes at the end.
Finally, he has provided us with a graph showing the disparity between the validated American Oldest Centenarians and the Claimants over the period [1971 - Present]. Click to open up the graph and read the notes at the end.
July 27, 2002; Mr. Young has now provided us with a list of U.S. recordholders by individual State. Some states, such as Delaware, don't have a record listed. That is because the population is likely too small to have produced a Supercentenarian, and/or the state did not exist 100 years ago (For example, Oklahoma was not opened to white settlement until 1889, and did not become a state until 1907). However, if someone were born in a territory that later became that state, they are listed for that state.
The U.S. record remains Mrs. Sarah Knauss at 119 years, 97 days.
This list includes all new possible cases from the May 2002 Conference. In the coming weeks, Mr. Young will issue updated tables that includes these new cases as well, which totaled over 200.
Click for the June 4, 2009 version of the Oldest Americans Table for each U.S. State.
Click for the older May 31, 2007 version of the Oldest Americans Table for each U.S. State.
Click for the older May 16, 2003 version of the Oldest Americans Table for each U.S. State.
World's Oldest Claimants
December 15, 2007; Mr. Robert Young has now compiled a Table of the 'World's Oldest Claimants' (Table J). The purpose of this particular Table is to demonstrate the wide variety of undocumented claims that come to us from all around the world and what our Table I above might look like if we were to lower our scientific standards (our Committee insists on three independent pieces of demographic documentation at least one of which dates back to the time of the claimant's birth) to self-promotional journalistic standards of news-reporting, which obviously focuses on human-interest stories that may or may not be valid but do sell newspapers or consume commercial air time. Indeed, after careful investigation, a good number of these claims have subsequently been demonstrated to be false. Other claims may never reach our standards and shall remain perpetually in limbo. Others may indeed be true and will someday be validated as new evidence comes to light. Click for Table J.
September 25, 2007; Mr. Robert Young has now completed another new Table which contains all the Oldest Validated Centenarians by Year in history from 1685 to the present time. For reference, we will name it Table K.
TABLES L -- SUPERCENTENARIAN TABLES BY NATIONALITY
December 20, 2007; Mr. Robert Young of Atlanta, GA is planning to provide us with full
set of Tables (collectively designated Table L) that index Supercentenarians
chronologically by nationality. The first 11 National Tables in this series are the following:
November 30, 2002; Click for a TABLE of 112 Year Olds or Older, Indexed by Country-of-Origin and then by order of National Recordholder's age. [ Note: Immigrants are covered separately from birth-and-death nationals.] This Table was prepared by Mr. Louis Epstein of New York.
TABLE G -- GRG TABLE OF FALSE AND EXAGGERATED CLAIMS
Mr. Robert Young of Atlanta, Georgia writes, "I am now aware that the question of why so many birth-record documents are necessary? is one of the most-often asked by family members of candidate Supercentenarians." This, Table G is provided to help us to answer why such rigorous documentation is needed. It lists more than 40 cases for which the claimed age of the individual was subsequently found to be overstated, while that the actual age turned out to be anywhere from one year less to 30 or more years less than the age claimed! Conversely, there is only one case we currently know of for which the real age turned out to be higher than the claimed age -- Mrs. Grace Clawson. This suggests that relatives and others pushing a claim tend to err on the side of exaggeration. We have identified several cases of blatant financial self-interest by tourist agencies in small countries who hoped to encourage visitors. Furthermore,
1. Table G reveals that while African-American cases were more likely to be exaggerated, other races, from Caucasian to American Indian to Oriental Asian, are not immune to this tendency to overstate ages. The real problem of exaggeration is that it distorts the data and hides the true oldest individuals, as someone who really is 110 or more is not likely to outlive someone who is 95 but who claims to be 120 years old.
2. It should be noted that, although most exaggerators were still over 90 years old; a majority of them were over 100. Thus, simply judging by one's appearance in a photograph is clearly insufficient, even though, in the more extreme cases, it may have been obvious the person was not close to the age being claimed.
As of July 31, 2007, Click for Table G .
This Table is the culmination of many years of demographic research, and we plan to update it periodically. The first Edition was posted on November 27, 2002, the second was posted on February 23, 2003, and the third was posted on April 1, 2007.
As of July 24, 2004, Click for Table H of the first Validated Supercentenarian indexed by Country-of-Birth, prepared by Robert Young and Louis Epstein for publication at the request of Dr. Aubrey de Grey, Editor-in-Chief of one of our newest journals entitled, Rejuvenation Research.
February 5, 2009; Click for Table M
, the Numbers of Supercentenarians as Summarized by Nationality (as of June 13,
Editorial Note: The GRG databases on Supercentenarians only began in 1998 and should be viewed as "under construction." With the possible exception of smaller European nations such as Belgium that track every centenarian in their nation, we expect the numbers to rise as more cases are added, even for leaders such as the U.S., Japan, and France. Data sources from many nations do not yet extend over a 110+ year period, and thus some nations such as China, which are very likely to have true Supercentenarians, do not yet have the means to document proof-of-birth from 110+ years ago. Hopefully, this will change in the coming decades as record keeping improves throughout the world.
Our goal here is not to list every possible Supercentenarian but to show where the data we have comes from, and to produce a large, statistically accurate data set, that allows researchers to understand that Supercentenarians are simply the top of a broad population pyramid. In the United States for the year 2000, for example, the Census counted about 1 million persons 90 or older. Of these, 5 percent or 50,454 were 100 or older, and of these, only an estimated 50 (1/1,000th of centenarians) were 110 or older. Even with this scale, however, the oldest person in America at the time was only 114, meaning that none of the 50 were 115 or older. The medical/biological implications for this observation are not well understood, which is why additional autopsies of the world's oldest people is so important.
Finally, a country ranking high in Table M (especially when recalculated on a per capita basis) should not be interpreted as giving that particular country a "unique longevity advantage." Given the rigorous GRG standards for age validation, it is more likely to be an artifact of good record keeping.
July 16, 2012; Click for Table N1, our "Highest Age by Rank" Table for both Overall (1-100) and for Current Living Supercentenarians.
November 29, 2012; Click for Table N2 for our latest and most up-to-date "Highest Age by Rank" Table.
Why are these new N Tables significant?
They are important for several reasons:
1. Every single record below the top 15 positions from 16 to 100 was set just in the last three years. This means these records are not a random phenomenon over the last few decades, looking at the data from a demographic point of view. If it were random, the breaking of records would be scattered and not uniform. Thus, the data strongly supports the idea that the incidence (and prevalence) of longevity is increasing as more and more people are reaching [110 - 112] years.
2. The top 15 position records -- reflecting maximum lifespan -- are not being broken! In other words, the basic longevity curves are being increasingly rectangularized, while the mortality curves are more likely to produce "depth" than "peak ages." That is to say, we are more likely to observe 30 living 112-year-olds at the same time than we are to see just one Supercentenarian live to 117.
Due to what is called the outlier effect, the very highest ranks are more likely to be distorted by a few exceptional cases such as Madame Jeanne Calment of France or Ms. Sarah Knauss of Pennsylvania.
There are three forces pushing our longevity data up from below, and apparently only one force driving it down from above (The Longevity Cliff or what we have chosen to call the "Calment Limit").:
1. There is an increase in the base of the pyramid due to an exponential increase in total world population;
2. There is an increase in the middle of the pyramid due to public health measures that increase average life expectancy, such as pediatric vaccines, antibiotics against infection by pathological microorganisms or other parasites, and C-sections for obstetric complications [but this low- hanging fruit has largely been exploited];
3. There is an increase at the top of the pyramid due to better availability of validation data, as birth-record keeping improved substantially in most countries after the year 1900. Thus, the GRG has been able to move claims through our Pending Table EE more quickly.
The Downward Force:
"The Morality Cliff" (or what we have chosen to call "The Calment Limit = 122 +/- 3 years that has remained unchallenged for the last 15 years) fully absorbs all three upward forces providing us with strong evidence that maximum human lifespan will not increase in our lifetimes (unless we were to uncover interventions into the mechanism of the aging process itself, in which case "all bets are off"). We can quarrel about how causes of death written on death certificates have evolved over the last century, but it remains a fact that all individuals die of something or another, while all babies are born young. So we have to conclude that the longevity-determining genes in our DNA for the repair of constant molecular damage in adult tissues secondary to metabolism become defective with time along with "epigenetic drift" that determines the expression of our genes, even among identical twins reared together. Antagonistic pleotropy is a very important genetics concept in which some genes may be good for species continuity but bad for older individuals within that species. So, life is a tradoff and Nature is constantly tinkering with SNP's in our DNA to ensure species non-extinction, not long lifespans without limit for individuals. Speaking figuratively, placing humans in the context of civilization with wild animals in zoos is raising havoc with all of Nature's presuppositions about what She should do next for the sake of maintaining/orchestrating a jungle ecology in the wild.
Most importantly, our latest data obliterate the concept of a "mortality plateau" at extreme ages, which has been suggested by a number of respected gerontologists, epidemiologists, and demographers. For there to be a plateau in mortality rates, the instantaneous mortality rates would have to become constant for each consecutive year past age x, where x = 110 or whatever. To the contrary, our data show that instantaneous mortality rates continue to rise from 50 percent at age 110 to 70 percent and beyond, as supercentenarians achieve the age of 116 yo, and only a few historical outliers prevent these rates from being even higher than they are (at younger ages). How well the current data fit seamlessly with the well-known Gompertz Curve (well established for ages [0-90] over the last 100 years) has yet to be determined.
October 10, 2007; It has come to our attention that Dr. James Bedford, M.D., b. 1893, is arguably the oldest Supercentenarian in Cryonic Suspension. So, as far as our cryonics colleagues are aware, no legally-living person who is currently signed up for suspension was born before him (they would, of course, need to be 114 yo or older), and unless someone older than 114 signs up soon (it goes up one year per year, of course), Dr. Bedford will forever hold this record -- until he was thawed, of course. If he were successfully reanimated, we would have to add him to Table E as a living Supercentenarian. Of course, in principle, one could be frozen more than once, if the secret to "escape velocity" had not yet been achieved by this time. Of course, all of this is speculation until it has been demonstrated at least once.
Our call for help...
Click on Mr. Robert Young's Photo to E-mail him if you believe that you can help us in identifying any additional centenarians that you feel should be on any one of the above tables that we may have omitted.
Here are pictures of some of the demographers who collaborate regularly on maintaining our
various tables in an up to date fashion...
Dr. Jean-Marie Robine of France
Gert-Jan Kuiper of the Netherlands (L) and Roger Thatcher of England (R).
Note: All of the above photos were taken at the Rostock, Germany meeting that took place on June 16th and 17th, 2000.
October 11, 2007; Another long-time collaborator is...
Mr. Bart Versieck of Belgium.