30th December 2014
There has been a 70% increase in the number of people living to over 100 in the past decade, official figures reveal.
The Office for National Statistics estimates that there are 13,780 aged 100 or more living in the UK.
The Department of Work and Pensions traced 7,517 people who turned 100 or 105 this year in order to pass their details to the Buckingham Palace to receive a Centenarian card.
Recent estimates show of the 797,000 babies less than 1 year old living in the UK in 2013, 123,000 boys and 151,000 girls are expected to live until their 100th birthday in 2113.
Women reaching 100 this year will have started receiving the State Pension in 1974 – when the basic State Pension was £10 a week.
Men reaching 100 in 2014 will have hit State Pension age in 1979 – when the basic State Pension was £23.30.
The basic State Pension now stands at £113.10 and will rise to £115.95 from April 2015.
Minister for Pensions Steve Webb said: “It is a massive source of celebration that more of us are living longer fuller lives and thousands of centenarians have celebrated their 100th birthday with a very special card.
Our reforms will ensure the State Pension remains strong for future generations and I am proud we are protecting today’s pensioners with the Triple Lock meaning the basic State Pension is at the highest percentage of earnings since 1992.
Centenarians born in 1914 have lived through two world wars, the Cold War and the rise of the information age.
They turned 21 in 1935, when:
the board game Monopoly was released in the United States
Porky Pig made his debut
They turned 40 in 1954, when:
Hancock’s Half Hour debuted on BBC radio
Elizabeth II became the first reigning monarch to visit Australia
Roger Bannister ran the first 4 minute mile
They hit 60 in 1974, when:
Richard Nixon announced his resignation
the Rubik’s Cube was invented