The last person in the world born in the 19th century was Italian and passed away in 2017, a century after the defeat at Caporetto which led to the enrollment of the “boys of ’99”. She, Emma Martina Luigia Morano, was a Piedmontese girl from 1899, who lived for 117 years and 137 days until 15 April 2017. Her longevity was exceptional both in terms of duration (among the longest ever ascertained in the world) and in the conditions of health given that up to the age of 115 Emma lived independently at home and on her 116th birthday she said: «I’m fine, I’m fine. And as long as it goes like this, I’m staying here with you.” When she passed the baton, there was now a vacuum behind her in Italy. The inexorable sickle of time has wiped out all those born in the early 1900s and the person most old woman of Italy today is from 1910 and lives in Umbria: Herculaneum Sunday.
To map the “supercentenarians” is theIstat with a report released on 23 January. The Institute of statistics especially observe who has at least 105 years old of age or, with the survey updated to 1 January 2022, those born in 2016 or in previous years. In Italy there are 1,007 special observers who are trying to understand the secret of longevity. A number doubled in a decade. In fact, there were just 472 supercentenarians in 2009 and they exceeded a thousand in 2019, to then rise again to 1,070 on January 1, 2020, that is, on the eve of the first Covid wave. Despite the pandemic, the number of supergrandparents remained stable at 1,072 while the decline was recorded the following year, so the census is now just over a thousand.
An interesting phenomenon is the absence of the Covid effect on supercentenarians. The mortality rate at such an advanced age is obviously very high and in 2019 of the 1,006 supercentenarians alive on January 1, exactly half died during the year, even if the overall number has grown thanks to the arrival of the “new” 105-year-olds . The following year, that of the first wave of the pandemic, thus opened with 1,070 supercentenarians and mortality remained the same at around 50%, as if the family protection system (or the immune system of those who lived so long) had acted as a barrier to the coronavirus. In 2021, with Covid still in circulation but with the vaccine campaign, the mortality of supercentenarians was even reduced to 45%.
The Istat survey, stopping on January 1, 2022, still considers Ida Zoccarato from Padua, born in 1909 and disappeared on January 16, 2022. Just as on April 19, 2022, Angela Tiraboschi, from Lombardy, died, who had taken over from Ida the baton of grandmother of Italy and then pass it on to Sunday.
All women. There are no surprises regarding the gender of supercentenarians: women prove to be by far the longest-lived and beat men eight to one. To be exact, in the Istat report there are 893 grandmothers and just 114 grandparents. On the other hand, there are some surprises regarding the territorial division because the South, despite the lower average life expectancy, does not disfigure and stands at one in three. A parameter in line with the general population.
The share of males over 105 residing in the South is even more than half, with 59 out of 114. A phenomenon that appears statistically significant. Compared to only 9 super-grandparents in Lombardy and 10 in Emilia Romagna, in fact, there are 10 in Calabria, 11 in Campania, 14 in Puglia and 15 in Sicily. For women, the share in the South is 31% with the highest numbers in absolute value in Sicily (69) Campania (57) and Puglia (52) while the highest number is in Lombardy with 143.
Comparisons are more correct when referring to the overall population. Those who have the ambition to live a long life would therefore be sorry to avoid territories where, for some still mysterious reason, becoming a supercentenarian is more difficult. The regions to be avoided for men are Trentino Alto Adige, Liguria, Veneto and Friuli Venezia Giulia, while for women it is best to avoid Valle d’Aosta, Lazio and Campania. If, on the other hand, you want to choose the place whose air can transform itself into the elixir of life, men should focus on Molise and Calabria and women on Molise and Abruzzo. Little Molise, on balance, is the place where exceeding the age of 105 is least unlikely. It happens to one male for every 73,000 and one female for every 16,000.CopyAMP code