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Census: People more than 100 years old tend to be female and more likely to live in poverty

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

The 2010 census showed about 1,700 people in Michigan were more than 100 years old.

A new U.S. Census report says those centenarians are overwhelmingly women, with less education and higher rates of poverty than other American retirees.

Brian Kincel is a statistical analyst with the U.S. Census Bureau. He says the numbers reflect social and economic conditions in the 1920s, when the current crop of centenarians came of age.

“It is interesting to see what their social and economic situations are compared to the 65 and older population and our other age groups,” says Kincel, “I just thought it was interesting to see that almost half of centenarians did not receive a high school diploma or GED.”

Kincel says 57% of centenarians have a high school diploma, compared to 77% of all those 65 and up.

Also, 17% of centenarians live below the poverty line. Only nine percent of all Americans over the age of 65 live in poverty.

81% of the 55 thousand Americans over the age of 100 are women.   

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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