Living beyond the age of 100

Population and Societies

365, February 2001

  • Indications of increasing longevity
  • A question as yet unresolved
  • A centenarian boom


Humanity has always been fascinated by extreme longevity. According to the Bible, the first man, Adam, lived 930 years, and some of his descendents lived even longer: Enoch died at 965, and Methuselah, the champion of them all, lived to 969! Of course, these are all legends. The Bible is full of epic stories and the image of these age-old patriarchs who lived before the flood is meant to stir imagination, not to reflect reality. After the flood, the patriarchs began to die at more reasonable ages: Abraham lived to the age of 275, Isaac died at 180, Jacob at 147, Joseph at 110, etc.

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