From the 1950s, the number of centenarians – and ultimately supercentenarians – started to grow, roughly doubling every ten years. By January 2006, there were an estimated 8,513 centenarians in England and Wales, according to research by A. Roger Thatcher, the former director of the UK Office of Population Censuses and Surveys.
Thatcher says that a growing population and improving healthcare have contributed to the longevity of more people.
The oldest recorded person – so far – in England and Wales is 115 years old. But says Thatcher, the trends show that with more and more supercentenarians, “the oldest should soon be at least 119 years, and may possibly even exceed the age of 122 years that has already been reached by Mme Calment in France,” he writes in the study by the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research.