The number of Aussies aged over 100 grew by more than 30 per cent between 2013 and 2018, with Victoria showing a significant leap in centenarians.
In total, there are 4828 centenarians in Australia, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018 census data. That number was up from 3623 in 2013.
According to latest figures, New South Wales has the most centenarians in the country with 1463, just a few dozen ahead of Victoria’s 1432.
The Northern Territory has only five people aged over 100, up from three in 2013.
All states and territories recorded increases in centenarians between 2013 and 2018, but Victoria and Australian Capital jumped by 47 per cent and 42 per cent respectively.
Centenarian expert Dr John McCormack believes working hard and not being overweight could help you live past 100.
In a 2012 study for La Trobe University, he interviewed 130 centenarians and super-centenarians, those typically aged 110 and over.
“It’s assumed that genes have quite a strong impact for longevity. But there are environmental influences as well and I’ve found that most of the people have lived fairly healthy lives,” he said at the time.
“I haven’t found any centenarian in Australia overweight.”
Health advancements and disease control have aided the rising number of people aged 100 and over.
But Dr McCormack’s research found staying active and being independent were also components to living longer.
“We have this stereotype older people are frail and decrepit, in a nursing home and not able to do anything for themselves” he said when the the study was released.
“Whereas I’ve found that more than half the people aged 100 live in the community, not in a skilled nursing facility.”
Dr McCormack found very few smokers in the centenarians he interviewed, and the ones who did smoke gave up at an early age.
His study revealed men who reached age 100 tended to live longer than women, and many of those men were unmarried.
In 2017, 3.8 million Australians were aged 65 and over, representing 15 per cent of the total population.
The number and proportion of older Australians is expected to continue to grow, placing further pressure on the economy.
By 2057, the Australian government projects there will be 8.8 million older people in Australia (22 per cent of the population).
Come the next millennium, a quarter of Australians will be 65 or older.