Who are the Centenarians? Part 1: Dying at Age 100 or More

Blog post by Kit Frohardt-Lane, Data Driven Detroit
December 2016

Data Driven Detroit (D3)   (Detroit)

Centenarians, defined as people age 100 and older, are a tiny but growing age group in Michigan and the United States as a whole.  In the 2010 U.S. Census, centenarians constituted .0173 percent of the U.S. population and a similar proportion (.0175 percent) of Michigan’s population (1,729 centenarians of the total of 9,883,640 people in Michigan). While they are a small group, studying them can provide insight into healthy aging.  In this first blog post, we look at this group not by studying living centenarians but by studying the characteristics of Michigan residents aged 100 or older who died from 2011-2013.  We examine the counties in which they lived at the time of death, their educational attainment, and the causes of death, along with several other characteristics. In a second blog post, we will contrast centenarians’ characteristics with those of Michigan residents who died in 2011-2013 at ages 65-69, 70-79, 80-89, and 90-99.