Number of Brits aged 100 or over has soared to 15,000 — and doubles in 14 years

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THE number of Brits aged 100 or over has soared to a record 15,000, official stats show.

Centenarians are now the fastest-growing age group — nearly doubling to 14,910 from 7,750 in 2002.

 The Queen Mother lived to 101

Getty – Contributor
The Queen Mother lived to 101

There are also 571,000 in their 90s, says the Office for National Statistics.

The rise is being driven by the baby boom at the end of World War One in 1918, as well as factors such as better medical care and higher standards of living.

Women centenarians outnumber men by five to one.

But the over-100s make up just 0.02 per cent of the population — one in every 5,000 people — the 2016 figures show.

And they also reveal the growth of life-expectancy rates has slowed by more than half for males and two-thirds for females over the past decade compared with the previous 30 years.

Boys born last year can expect to live to 79 and girls to 82.

 The rise is being driven by factors such as better medical care and higher standards of living

Vetta – Getty
The rise is being driven by factors such as better medical care and higher standards of living

Janet Morrison, of the Independent Age charity, said: “We should celebrate that there are nearly 15,000 centenarians in the UK, with huge advances in public health and medicine to thank for this growth.

“It is less obvious what is driving the slowdown in life expectancy. If trends continue, we could be looking at shortening life spans.”

Bessie Camm, from Rotherham, South Yorks, is Britain’s oldest person at 113.

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