Rise of the 'supercentenarians' as more French people live past 100

France is seeing a "remarkable surge" in the number of people living beyond 100 years, a study by the National Institute of Demographic Studies revealed on Thursday. It noted the emergence of a new age group of people known as "supercentenarians" – those older than 110 years.

The report said there were around 100 centenarians in France in 1900, a number that had doubled by 1950. By 1970, however, there were more than a thousand and, in the year 2000, more than 8,000.

As of 1 January, 2024, the number of people older than 100 years stood at more than 31,000: that's a quadrupling of the age group in less than a quarter of a century.

The study predicts that if the trend continues, there will be more than 200,000 centenarians in France by the year in 2070.

Supercentenarians were often people with a history of engaging in physically demanding outdoor work, coupled with a diet rich in wholesome foods, said Laurent Toussaint, a co-author of the study.

The researchers also found a concentration of centenarians in the French Caribbean – particularly in Guadeloupe and Martinique – raising questions about genetic and environmental factors that contribute to longevity.

(with newswires)

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