The number of people to reach 100 years old has more than doubled in England and Wales in the past 20 years.

There were 15,120 centenarians in the two countries in 2022, up from 6,920 in 2002, a study has found.

Rest Less, which offers advice to older people, said four out of five of those were female, down from 86pc in 2012 and 89pc in 2002.

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Stuart Lewis, chief executive of Rest Less, said: “Thanks to continued medical advances and improvements in healthy living, becoming a centenarian is not as rare as it used to be.

“In 2022, a record 15,120 people in England and Wales received a birthday card from the King. If population estimates are anything to go by, this number is only set to increase, which will have a remarkable impact on how we live and work."


North Norfolk has come out as one of the best for longevity in the study, with 47 people aged 100 or older per 100,000 ranking the seventh best.

This follows the results of the 2021 Census showing that north Norfolk has the oldest average population in the UK.

With a median age of 54, the average age of people living in the district is 14 years higher than the national average (40).

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Neighbouring King's Lynn and west Norfolk didn't see as much success in finding the secret to long life as it came out the lowest in the region with 20 centenarians per 100,000.

Norfolk's full rankings : 

(Centenarians per 100,000 people)

  1. North Norfolk - 47
  2. Broadland - 33
  3. Great Yarmouth - 32
  4. Breckland - 31
  5. South Norfolk - 30
  6. Norwich - 24
  7. King's Lynn and West Norfolk - 20

Mr Lewis added: “Reaching 100 is an achievement which deserves to be celebrated but we think it’s important for attention to shift away from the age we are living to, towards the number of healthy years lived.

“Paradoxically, while medical advancements during the last century have resulted in an increase in life expectancy globally, this does not guarantee a healthy and disease-free lifespan.”