Emergency of centenarians and supercentenarians in Southern Europe: verification and trends of extreme longevity in Spain

Rosa Gomez-Redondo, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED)
Juan M. Garcia Gonzalez, Universidad Nacional de Educación a Distancia (UNED)

During the last decades of the XX Century there has been an increment of people at very advanced ages with no historical precedent. This increment is a consequence of the double Mortality Transition that took place in the past among the demographically advanced populations. This process leads to a recurrent double question: does life span have a limit? And which are the differential characteristics and chronology by age and sex in a specific socio-demographic region? For being able to answer these questions, it is compulsory to generate first basic and additional knowledge. To achieve this aim, our work studies in first place the timing and the structural changes of longevity in the Spanish population during the 1975-2005 period. In second place, the lack of completeness and the errors in the data corresponding to very old people imposes the production and validation of this population´s death age at the extreme of ages 105+ and 110+. At the same time, we contribute to the International Database of Longevity (IDL) with the data corresponding to the Spanish section. And in the last place, once achieved these goals, we will be able to facilitate the contribution to the theoretical demographic corpus for a new phase of the Mortality Transition within the framework of the Health Transition. The knowledge of the structure and dynamics of this specific mortality, obtained from verified and validated data, allows to make an analysis of the recent evolution of longevity from South European population, as well as of the emergency process of the growing 100+ population, paying special attention to population reaching/going over 110 years old. This analysis tries at the same time to find a pattern that characterizes the Spanish oldest-old population of the last three decades.

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Presented in Session 45: Longevity