Exceptional lifespans

Maier, H., Jeune, B., Vaupel, J. W. (Eds.)
TitleDemographic research monographs 17
VII, 344 pages. Cham, Springer (2021)
Open Access


How long can humans live? This open access book documents, verifies and brings to life the advance of the frontier of human survival. It carefully validates data on supercentenarians, aged 110+, and semi-supercentenarians, aged 105-109, stored in the International Database on Longevity (IDL). The chapters in this book contribute substantial advances in rigorously checked facts about exceptional lifespans and in the application of state-of-the-art analytical strategies to understand trends and patterns in these rare lifespans. The book includes detailed accounts of extreme long-livers and how their long lifespans were documented, as well as reports on the causes of death at the oldest ages. Its key finding, based on the analysis of 1,219 validated supercentenarians, is that the annual probability of death is constant at 50% after age 110. In contrast to previous assertions about a ceiling on the human lifespan, evidence presented in this book suggests that lifespan records in specific countries and globally will be broken again and again as more people survive to become supercentenarians.

Full Text

James W. Vaupel

The International Database on Longevity

The International Database on Longevity: Data Resource Profile
Dmitri A. Jdanov, Vladimir M. Shkolnikov, Sigrid Gellers-Barkmann

Mortality and Longevity Studies

Mortality of Supercentenarians: Estimates from the Updated IDL
Jutta Gampe

Does the Risk of Death Continue to Rise Among Supercentenarians?
Francisco Villavicencio, José Manuel Aburto

The Human Longevity Record May Hold for Decades: Jeanne Calment’s Extraordinary Record Is Not Evidence for an Upper Limit to Human Lifespan
Adam Lenart, José Manuel Aburto, Anders Stockmarr, James W. Vaupel

Mortality of Centenarians in the United States
Bert Kestenbaum

Cause of Death Studies

Causes of Death at Very Old Ages, Including for Supercentenarians
France Meslé, Jacques Vallin

Causes of Death Among 9000 Danish Centenarians and Semisuper-Centenarians in the 1970–2012 Period
Lasse Kaalby, Axel Skytthe, Karen Andersen-Ranberg, Bernard Jeune

Country Reports

Supercentenarians and Semi-supercentenarians in France
Nadine Ouellette, France Meslé, Jacques Vallin, Jean-Marie Robine

Centenarians and Supercentenarians in Japan
Yasuhiko Saito, Futoshi Ishii, Jean-Marie Robine

Centenarians, Semi-supercentenarians and the Emergence of Supercentenarians in Poland
Wacław Jan Kroczek

Extreme Longevity in Quebec: Factors and Characteristics
Mélissa Beaudry-Godin, Robert Bourbeau, Bertrand Desjardins

Semi-supercentenarians in the United States
Bert Kestenbaum

Case studies of Exceptional Longevity

The First Supercentenarians in History, and Recent 115 + −Year-Old Supercentenarians. An Introduction to the Following Chapters
Bernard Jeune, Michel Poulain

Geert Adriaans Boomgaard, the First Supercentenarian in History?
Dany Chambre, Bernard Jeune, Michel Poulain

Margaret Ann Harvey Neve – 110 Years Old in 1903. The First Documented Female Supercentenarian
Michel Poulain, Dany Chambre, Bernard Jeune

113 in 1928? Validation of Delina Filkins as the First “Second-Century Teenager”
Robert Douglas Young

Emma Morano – 117 Years and 137 Days
Bernard Jeune, Michel Poulain

A Life Cycle of Extreme Survival Spanning Three Stages: Ana Vela Rubio (1901–2017)
Rosa Gómez-Redondo, Ramón Domènech

Validation of 113-Year Old Israel Kristal as the World’s Oldest Man
Wacław Jan Kroczek, Robert Young

Age Verification of Three Japanese Supercentenarians Who Reached Age 115
Yasuyuki Gondo, Nobuyoshi Hirose, Saori Yasumoto, Yoshiko Lily Ishioka, Hiroki Inagaki, Yukie Masui et al.

Age 115+ in the USA: An Update
Robert Young, Waclaw Jan Kroczek

The Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (MPIDR) in Rostock is one of the leading demographic research centers in the world. It's part of the Max Planck Society, the internationally renowned German research society.