By Cara Sulieman
MORE Scots than ever are reaching their 100th birthday.
The true extent of Scotland’s ageing population has been revealed in the newest figures out from the Registrar General.
The number of centenarians has risen by more than a quarter in the last six years, with a grand total of 720 people aged over 100 living across the country.
And not surprisingly, the vast majority of them are women – a staggering 90 per cent.
Card from the Queen
Around the time that many of Scotland’s centenarians were born, it was rare to see anyone living to hit the milestone.
But by the start of the 21st century there were more than 500 people in Scotland who qualified for their card from the Queen.
Duncan Macniven, Registrar General for Scotland, said: “The number of centenarians rose from 570 in 2002 to 720 in 2008, an increase of more than a quarter.
“This is one example of the ageing of Scotland’s population. Almost 9 out of every 10 centenarians are women but the proportion of men is slowly increasing.”
And while the number of centenarians is growing, the number of 90 –99 year olds has decreased for the second year in a row.
The Register General said that this was because fewer babies were born during the First World War, leading to a smaller number of their generation as they age.
And again, it is mainly women who are managing to reach their 90s – a whopping three quarters of that age range are female.
Although the number of those over 100 relative to the rest of the population has increased, there is still only one centenarian for every 10,000 people in Scotland.
As there is no register of centenarians in Scotland, the figures are estimated using age of death statistics and average death rates for the year.