Life expectancy of an American born today averages 78.2 years. But this year, over 70,000 Americans have reached their 100th birthday. What are they doing that the average American isn’t (or won’t?)
To answer the question, we teamed up with National Geographic to find the world’s longest-lived people and study them. We knew most of the answers lied within their lifestyle and environment (The Danish Twin Study established that only about 20% of how long the average person lives is determined by genes.). Then we worked with a team of demographers to find pockets of people around the world with the highest life expectancy, or with the highest proportions of people who reach age 100.
We found five places that met our criteria:
- Barbagia region of Sardinia – Mountainous highlands of inner Sardinia with the world’s highest concentration of male centenarians.
- Ikaria, Greece – Aegean Island with one of the world’s lowest rates of middle age mortality and the lowest rates of dementia.
- Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica – World’s lowest rates of middle age mortality, second highest concentration of male centenarians.
- Seventh Day Adventists – Highest concentration is around Loma Linda, California. They live 10 years longer than their North American counterparts.
- Okinawa, Japan – Females over 70 are the longest-lived population in the world.