What’s the age of the world’s oldest living person? Any guesses? Before I give you the answer, let’s look at the average life expectancy of humans from the beginning of the 19th century to the 21st century.
In early 19th century Britain, the average life expectancy was around 40 years. The numbers slightly increased in 1950 to 48 years. According to World Bank data, life expectancy at birth reached the highest, 72 years in 2017.
Now to answer the earlier question, the age of the oldest living person is 117 years. Astonishing, isn’t it. There are a total of thirteen people living with an age of more than 110 years. Seven of the oldest are all women. Below, we have compiled a list of the oldest living people as well as the oldest person ever known.
The age of most individuals in this list is validated by the Gerontology Research Group (GRG), an international organization that keeps track of people over 110 years old, also known as supercentenarians.
9. Dumitru Comanescu
Age: 111 years, 69 days
Born: 8 November 1908
(Not Validated by GRG)
In 2019, the Directorate of the Evidence of Persons and Database Administration (DEPABD), a part of Romania’s Ministry of Internal Affairs, declared Dumitru Comănescu, a 110 years old, as the nation’s oldest living citizen.
According to the historical records, Mr. Dumitru was born in Provita de Jos commune in Prahova County, Romania. He was an agronomist engineer and one of Romania’s much-renowned plant pathologists.
8. Bob Weighton
Bob Weighton | Image Courtesy: PA Media
Age: 111 years, 363 days
Born: 29 March 1908
(Not Validated by GRG)
The world’s oldest man (confirmed), Chitetsu Watanabe, passed away on 23 February 2020 at the age of 112 years. After his death, the crown of the world’s oldest man is likely to go to Bob Weighton, who will turn 112 this year.
As an engineer, Mr. Weighton traveled to other countries, including Japan, Canada, and Taiwan. He was also a teacher. The soon to be 112 years old has three children, ten grandchildren, and 25 great-grandchildren. He lives in Alton, New Hampshire.
7. Mina Kitagawa
Age: 114 years, 144 days
Born: 2 November 1905
Mina Kitagawa is Japan’s third-oldest and the seventh-oldest living person in the world. Not much is known about her life or the exact place where she was born. Her age was validated by the Gerontology Research Group and is currently residing in Hikone city, Shiga Prefecture, Japan.
6. Iris Westman
Iris Westman during alumni met | Image Courtesy: Sam Melquist/UND Alumni Association and Foundation
Age: 114 years, 211 days
Born: 28 August 1905
The world’s sixth oldest living person is an American named Iris Westman. Iris was born in the U.S state of North Dakota and made her career in teaching after graduating from the UND (University of North) in 1928. Later, she became a librarian after earning a degree from the Minnesota School of Library Sciences.
She neither ever married nor had any children. Her only living relatives are generations of nieces and nephews. She is the oldest North Dakotan ever.
5. Hester Ford
Age: 114 years, 223 days
Born: 15 August 1905
At 114 years of age, Hester Ford is the oldest American alive validated by the Gerontology Research Group. Hester was born in Lancaster County, South Carolina, United States.
For more than 20 years, Ford served as a nanny in various households. Today, she has about 50 grandchildren, more than 100 great-grandchildren, and great-great-grandchildren.
Being a devout Christian, Hester spent many years of her life in church service. Although she now has dementia, Hester could still recite Bible verses without much trouble.
4. Shigeyo Nakachi
Shigeyo Nakachi on her 113th birthday
Age: 115 years, 53 days
Born: 1 February 1905
Shigeyo Nakachi is the second-oldest living Japanese woman with a confirmed age of 115 years. She gained that title after Shin Matsushita passed away on 27 August 2019 at the age of 115 years and 150 days.
Nakachi was born on 1st February 1905 somewhere in Saga Prefecture, Japan, and spend three decades as an elementary school teacher.
In her 90s, Shigeyo Nakachi reportedly fractured her thighbone twice. In 2018, she suffered from a lung infection (aspiration pneumonia). However, she was able to recover completely.
3. Jeanne Bot
Jeanne Bot | Image Courtesy: lindependant.fr
Age: 115 years, 71 days
Born: 14 January 1905
At more than 115 years of age, Jeanne Bot is the third-oldest living person in the world. She was born in the year 1905 at Mont-Louis military barracks in France, where her father was stationed as an officer.
Apart from poor hearing and speaking, Jeanne Bot has, reportedly, no major illness. She is the second oldest living French citizen and Lucile Randon.
Jeanne Bot was born on 14 January 1905 in the military barracks of Mont-Louis, where her father, Louis, was a non-commissioned officer. She is the third oldest French women to have ever lived.
2. Lucile Randon
Age: 116 years, 42 days
Born: 11 February 1904
Lucile Randon (religious name Sister André) is the second oldest living person in the world. She is also the second oldest French national ever lived.
Randon was born on 11 February 1904 and worked most of her youth as a governess in various private households. She then became a religious sister and spent the rest of her working years in hospitals and nursing homes.
Sister André acknowledges her busy lifestyle the reason behind her extraordinarily long life.
1. Kane Tanaka
Kane Tanaka | Image Courtesy: Guinness world records
Age: 117 years, 81 days
Born: 2 January 1902
The world’s oldest living person (confirmed) is Kane Tanaka, a 117 years old supercentenarian from Japan. Tanaka was born prematurely on 2 January 1903 in a small village of Wajiro, Fukuoka Prefecture, Japan.
When asked how many chocolates she wants to eat in a day, at the official Guinness certificate ceremony in 2019, Tanaka replied, “a hundred.” Her diet includes a variety of sweets, canned sodas, and coffee.
Kane Tanaka was diagnosed with colon cancer for which she went through surgery at the age of 103 years. She is five years short of being the world’s oldest person ever.
Oldest Person In The World Ever: Jeanne Calment
Age at death: 122 years, 164 days
Born: 21 February 1875
The title of the world’s oldest person ever goes to French supercentenarian Jeanne Calment. Jeanne was born in Arles, France, in the year 1875. Her father was a shipbuilder. After marrying a wealthy business owner, Jeanne spent most of her life in luxury. She also claimed to have known Vincent Van Gogh.
Apparently, some of her family members had also lived long-lives. Her father was 93 when he died, while her brother was 97.
Due to her extraordinarily lengthy life-span, some researchers have cast doubt over her authenticity. They believe that the person who died in 1997 was, in fact, Jeanne Calment’s daughter, who seized her identity in 1934. Many, however, have rejected this speculation.
The Oldest Billionaire: Chang Yun Chung
Cheng Yun Chung (sitting) with his children| Image Courtesy: Yen Meng Jiin/The Business Times/SPH
Age: 101 years
The world’s oldest billionaire, Chang Yun Chung, is not a supercentenarian, though he could soon become one. Yun Chung is the founder of Pacific International Line, one of the largest container shipping companies in the world (by total market share and fleet size). According to Forbes, Chang Yun Chung’s net worth is about $1.1 billion (real-time).
The wealthy Singaporean earned the title of the oldest living billionaire in 2017 after the death of David Rockefeller, grandson of industrialist John D. Rockefeller, at the age of 101 years.
Behind Chang Yun Chung in this list is 99 years old Marcel Adams, a Canadian real-estate mogul with an estimated net worth of $1.6 billion.