MPIDR Working Paper

The population of centenarians in Brazil: historical estimates from 1900 to 2000

Nepomuceno, M., Turra, C.
MPIDR Working Paper WP-2019-015, 26 pages.
Rostock, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research (August 2019)
Keywords: census data, centenarians, data evaluation

Abstract

Does anyone know the exact number of centenarians in Brazil? Since the nineteenth century, 
the census has provided the number of 100-year-olds in one of the most populous countries 
worldwide. In 1900, 4,438 individuals reported themselves to be centenarians, and 100 years 
later, 24,576 centenarians were recorded in the census. Due to data quality issues, we are 
skeptical about the real growth of the recorded population in the census. Therefore, we 
produce new statistics of the centenarian population through the variable-r method combined 
with different mortality models. We offer a set of estimates of the most likely number of 
centenarians in Brazil over the period 1900-2000. There was virtually no centenarian at the 
beginning of the twentieth century, and only in the 1990s, the centenarian population 
surpassed 1,000 individuals. Our estimates confirm an extensive over-enumeration of 
centenarians in census records since 1900. The good news is the improvement in census data 
collection over time. 

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.