Study of 100 Year Olds Tells Us What it’s Like to be 100 Years Old

The result of the Iowa Centenarian Study have just recently been published.

This study examined the perceptions of a group of 152 people over age 100 to look for patterns of perceptions and personality. It is hoped that the data can shed some light on the determinants of living to 100.

Several questions were asked of the group.  Persons had to be able to answer questions to participate but it was determined that about 50% had some degree of cognitive impairment.

Fourteen percent of the subjects were male, 86% were female, and 99% were Caucasian. Eight-two percent lived in long term care facilities, and 48% had some post high school education. Only 2.8% were never married, and 86.2% had at least one child.

Here are some interesting responses to selected survey questions:

  • Fifty percent said being 100 is a very positive experience, only 5% thought it was very negative
  • Sixty percent felt they had no influence on living to 100, only 12% saidthey had a lot of influence.
  • Ninety five percent never thought they would live to 100
  • Fifty nine percent said life at 100 is very meaningful
  • Some of the most frequentpersonality traits found among 100 year olds is agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness (see graph above)

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