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What it’s like to be 100 years old, in 10 charts

So you want to live to 100? Some might say be careful what you wish for. But data culled from two recent reports show fairly high quality of life for the country's 55,000 centenarians, a population that is expected to grow rapidly.

Not surprisingly, the vast majority of 100-year-olds (81 percent) are women.  Also not surprisingly, most are widowed.

Source: U.S. Census
Source: U.S. Census

A big chunk of centenarians (43 percent) never finished high school. A plurality of Baby Boomers (34 percent) did.

Source: U.S. Census
Source: U.S. Census

The health insurance company United Healthcare recently surveyed 104 centenarians (and 302 Boomers ages 65 and older) to probe a little more deeply.  The small sample of 100-year-0lds is less than ideal, but there's some interesting info here. For example, only 3 percent said they were lonely, sad or burdened.

They remember their 30s most fondly ...

Source: United Healthcare

Feel like they're only 83 ...

Would most like to have dinner with President Obama. ( Boomers name Betty White !?!) ...

Source: United Healthcare

And, remarkably, don't have daily caregivers.


Update: A 2012 Census report says that 35.2 percent of women centenarians and 18.2 percent of men live in nursing homes.

They've heard of Facebook and Twitter, but not Pinterest:

Feel they've accomplished what they wanted to.

Source: United Healthcare

And attribute their longevity to staying close to family and friends:

Lenny Bernstein covers health and medicine. He started as an editor on the Post’s National Desk in 2000 and has worked in Metro and Sports.
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