The U.S. Census Bureau has released a long-term research report on the differences between centenarians and seniors who are age 65 and older.
Pulling in data from a previous report, Centenarians 2010, this research is an overview of 2007 to 2011 and focuses on marital status, education, veteran status, income and poverty levels.
Here’s what it learned:
— Women made up the majority of those who had lived a century or more, at 81 percent. In the over-65 group, women were at 57 percent.
— Marital status: Most centenarians (82 percent) were widowed. Because of age, the over-65 group had a lower rate of 29 percent widowed.
— Education: A surprising 43 percent of centenarians did not finish high school. In the over-65 age group, 23 percent didn’t receive a diploma. Of those who went on to college, 15 percent of centenarians earned a bachelor’s degree or higher, with 21 percent of the over-65 group earning a degree.
— Veterans: Only 0.5 percent of women centenarians were veterans, but the number wasn’t much higher for women in the over-65 group, with 1.15 percent having served their country.
— Income: Of the centenarians, 83 percent received Social Security, compared to 88 percent of the over-65 group. The amount of benefits was lower, of course, for the centenarians because Social Security is based on what you put into the system. Of the centenarians, 17 percent lived in poverty, compared to 9 percent of the over-65 group.
Want to live to be a centenarian? Dr. Thomas Perls, co-author of “Living to 100: Lessons in Living to Your Maximum Potential at Any Age,” has some tips: Be adaptable and flexible. Get rid of stress. Be optimistic. Exercise. Own a pet. Those are good goals for people of any age.
Matilda Charles regrets that she cannot personally answer reader questions, but will incorporate them into her column whenever possible. Send email to [email protected]. © 2014 King Features Synd. Inc.