It’s well known that women tend to live longer than men.
And the extent to which this true is revealed in the latest census data which shows that women who have reached the age of 100 outnumber men by 23 to one.
The total number of centenarians has soared from 11,186 to 13,924 in a decade, the 2021 figures found.
Women made up 11,288 of the total, whereas just 2,636 men had reached the milestone age. The overall rise on a century before was an astonishing 27-fold, up from just 110 in 1921.
The latest data from the Office for National Statistics, published yesterday, also seems to suggest living near the seaside might be the secret to a long life.
Women made up 11,288 of the total, whereas just 2,636 men had reached the milestone age (Stock Image)
Nine out of the ten local authorities with the most centenarians are by the coast, with the top three all on the English south coast.
There were 64 people who had reached 100 or older per 100,000 people in East Devon, 59 per 100,000 in Arun in West Sussex, and 57 per 100,000 in the New Forest, the ONS said.
Birmingham had the highest number of centenarians overall at 193 – but only 17 per 100,000 people.
The ONS said there were eight local authorities with fewer than ten centenarians per 100,000 people.
Of these, the ONS said six were London boroughs – Newham (five per 100,000); Tower Hamlets (six); Hackney (eight); Islington (nine); Lambeth (nine); and Lewisham (9.6).
The data revealed that two in five centenarians (41.6 per cent) lived by themselves in private homes. One in ten (10.9 per cent) lived with another person, most commonly their children or other relatives.
Meanwhile two in five (39.1 per cent) lived in ‘communal establishments’ such as care homes. The majority of those aged over 100 were widowed but 18.4 per cent of males were married compared with just 3.7 per cent of females.
A total of 905 centenarians were married, although many couples no longer live together with one spouse often having moved into a care home.
Many centenarians claim that keeping active is the secret to their long life. The UK has the seventh highest number of centenarians worldwide (Stock Image)
But there are 14 couples in which both spouses are over 100 and they still live together at home. One in four centenarians said they were in good health, the ONS said, and ‘surprisingly, three in ten reported having no disability’.
Nine out of ten had been born in the UK, with 1.3 per cent born in Ireland, 2.4 in another European country and 2.5 in the Middle East and Asia. More than one in four women over 100 (28 per cent) had never worked, while among those who had, the largest number (25.9 per cent) had been secretaries.
Among male centenarians, 21.9 had been skilled tradesmen and 15.8 per cent professionals.
The UK has the seventh highest number of centenarians worldwide, with Japan topping the list followed by Guadeloupe and Uruguay.
Many centenarians claim that keeping active is the secret to their long life – including former World War Two Mosquito pilot Colin Bell, who became the oldest person to take part in an abseil last week at 102.
Flight Lieutenant Bell, last week abseiled 280ft from the helipad at the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel, east London, to help raise money for charity.
Mr Bell, who was awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross during the war, said: ‘I may be 102 years old, but I still want to do my bit to raise much-needed funding for three amazing charities.’