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Researcher Forecasts More Centenarians

December 30, 1987|PATRICK McMAHON | United Press International

Climate and economic conditions contribute to your life span, but look no further than your family to find the determining factor in your longevity, says a researcher who participated in a study forecasting that the number of 100-year-old Americans will double to 50,000 by 1990.

An issue of Metropolitan Life Insurance Co.'s Statistical Bulletin featured a report on the rising number of centenarians and lists the 10 states where one is most and least likely to live to be 100, based on the average age of death and living residents.

Tropical Hawaii is cited as the most likely state for people to live to be 100, based on data from the National Center for Health Statistics. It says 1,713 of 100,000 Hawaiians stand a chance to reach triple figures.

Hawaii was followed by Minnesota (1,444 per 100,000 people), South Dakota (1,392), Iowa (1,379), Nebraska (1,364), North Dakota (1,362), Kansas (1,339), Florida (1,336), Idaho (1,329) and Arizona (1,317).

On the Other Hand...

Listed as the top 10 states where one would least likely reach 100 years were Alaska (941 per 100,000 people), District of Columbia (948), Louisiana (994), Nevada (1,004), Pennsylvania (1,009), West Virginia (1,012), Kentucky (1,018), Mississippi (1,033), Ohio (1,043) and New Jersey (1,044).

Gregory Spencer, a demographer in the U.S. Census Bureau, said in the study that reasons for the geographic differences in longevity are difficult to pinpoint but can be attributed to an interaction of various components.

Those factors include climatic conditions, economic level and associated standards of living, adequacy of health and hospital facilities, interstate migration and the biological heritage of the local population.

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