By Liam Nolan

A centenarian is someone who has reached the age of 100. I’m not so sure I want to. Most people born in 1900 didn’t live past the age of 50. But now the number of people who reach 100 is increasing dramatically worldwide.

A lot of it, prior to the coronavirus pandemic, had to do with the rise of vaccines and antibiotics. Additionally there were the improvements in hygiene, medical treatments, and technology.

The United Nations says there are 573,000 centenarians now living on our planet. Interestingly, women account for the overwhelming majority of centenarians — in 1914, eighty per cent!

In the United Kingdom, there are 13,170 centenarians, while in the USA the total is said to be 72,000.
It’s no small thing to have inhabited this planet for all of ten long decades, and it is revealing to take a look at a few countries to see how official recognition is bestowed upon women and men who reach the magic age.
Centenarians in Britain receive a greeting card from the Queen. The wording on it is:

I am so pleased to know that
you are celebrating your one-hundredth birthday.
I send my congratulations and best wishes
to you on such a special occasion.

In the case of the card from Queen Elizabeth II, people must apply for greetings three weeks before the event.

Continue reading in this week’s Ireland’s Own