How Many People Reach 90 and Beyond?

People are living longer than ever before, due to advances in healthcare, nutrition and lifestyle changes. According to recent studies, the number of people who reach the age of 90 is increasing rapidly. In this article, we will explore how many people reach 90 and beyond, as well as the factors that contribute to longevity.

The Number of People Who Reach 90 and Beyond

People who reach the age of 90 and beyond are considered to be part of the “oldest old” demographic. In 2017, it was estimated that there were nearly 800,000 people in the U.S. who were 90 years or older. This number is projected to reach 2.4 million by 2050.

The number of centenarians (people who are 100 years or older) has also been increasing. In 2017, there were approximately 84,000 centenarians in the U.S. By 2050, this number is projected to increase to over 580,000.

Why Are More People Living Longer?

There are several factors that contribute to longevity, including:

  • Better healthcare: Advances in medical technology have led to better treatments for diseases and illnesses that were once fatal.
  • Better nutrition: A healthy diet can help prevent chronic diseases and maintain overall health and well-being.
  • Healthy lifestyle choices: Regular physical activity, not smoking, and moderate alcohol consumption can all contribute to living a longer life.
  • Improved living conditions: Access to clean water and sanitation can significantly improve health outcomes and reduce the risk of disease.

Gender Differences in Longevity

Women tend to live longer than men. In 2017, the life expectancy at birth for women in the U.S. was 81 years, while for men it was 76 years. However, the gap between men and women is narrowing. In 1970, the life expectancy of women was 7.5 years longer than men, but by 2010, it had decreased to 5.2 years.

There are several reasons why women tend to live longer than men, including:

  • Biological differences: Women have a lower risk of developing cardiovascular disease and certain types of cancer, which are leading causes of death.
  • Behavioral differences: Men are more likely to engage in risky behaviors, such as smoking and heavy alcohol consumption.
  • Social factors: Women tend to have stronger social networks and support systems, which can reduce the risk of depression and other mental health issues.

Racial and Ethnic Differences in Longevity

There are also differences in longevity among different racial and ethnic groups. In general, people of Asian descent tend to live the longest, followed by people of Hispanic, White, Black, and American Indian/Alaska Native descent.

There are several factors that contribute to these differences, including:

  • Access to healthcare: Some racial and ethnic groups may have less access to healthcare, which can result in higher rates of chronic diseases and lower life expectancy.
  • Education: Lower levels of education are associated with poorer health outcomes and lower life expectancy.
  • Socioeconomic status: Poverty and other socioeconomic factors can contribute to poor health outcomes and lower life expectancy.

Centenarians and Supercentenarians

Centenarians (people who are 100 years or older) and supercentenarians (people who are 110 years or older) are a small but growing demographic.

In 2015, there were approximately 451,000 centenarians worldwide. This number is projected to reach 3.7 million by 2050.

Supercentenarians are extremely rare, with only an estimated 1 in 7 million people reaching this age. As of 2021, there are approximately 500 verified supercentenarians worldwide, with the oldest living person being 118 years old.

What Are the Main Factors That Contribute to Living to 100 and Beyond?

Researchers have identified several factors that may contribute to reaching 100 and beyond:

  • Genetics: Researchers have found that certain genes may be associated with increased longevity.
  • Lifestyle factors: A healthy diet, regular physical activity, and not smoking can all contribute to a longer life.
  • Purpose in life: Having a sense of purpose and meaning in life may contribute to better mental and physical health.
  • Social connections: Maintaining strong social connections can reduce the risk of depression and other mental health issues, and may also contribute to better physical health.

Challenges Faced by Centenarians and Supercentenarians

While living to 100 and beyond is an impressive achievement, it is not without its challenges. Some of the challenges faced by centenarians and supercentenarians include:

  • Health issues: Despite living longer, centenarians and supercentenarians are not immune to health problems. Many face chronic health conditions and disabilities that can impact their quality of life.
  • Social isolation: As they age, many centenarians and supercentenarians may lose friends and family members, which can lead to social isolation and loneliness.
  • Caregiver support: Many centenarians and supercentenarians require assistance with daily activities, which can place a strain on caregivers and family members.

Conclusion

Living to 90 and beyond is becoming increasingly common, due to improvements in healthcare, nutrition, and lifestyle choices. Women tend to live longer than men, and there are also differences in longevity among different racial and ethnic groups. Centenarians and supercentenarians are a small but growing demographic, and researchers continue to investigate the factors that contribute to reaching 100 and beyond.

FAQs

  • How many people live to be 90?

    As of 2017, it was estimated that there were nearly 800,000 people in the U.S. who were 90 years or older.

  • What percentage of people live to be 90?

    In the U.S., the percentage of people over the age of 90 is approximately 2.5% of the total population.

  • What is the lifespan of a human?

    The average lifespan of a human is currently around 72 years.

  • Do women live longer than men?

    Yes, women tend to live longer than men. In the U.S., the life expectancy for women is 81 years, while for men it is 76 years.

References

  • “Oldest Old.” National Institute on Aging, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/oldest-old.
  • “Healthy Aging: Alzheimer’s Disease and Dementia, COVID-19, and Longevity Data.” National Institutes of Health, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, https://www.nia.nih.gov/health/healthy-aging.
  • “Centenarians.” American Psychological Association, https://www.apa.org/topics/centenarians.
  • Lloyd-Sherlock, Peter, et al. “Inequalities and Ageing: Looking Beyond Old Age.” The Lancet, vol. 390, no. 10106, 2017, pp. 1259-1260., doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(17)32330-6.

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