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Number of Korean centenarians surged to 3,159 in 2015: data

All News 12:00 July 25, 2016

SEJONG, July 25 (Yonhap) -- The number of South Koreans aged 100 and older soared to top 3,000 last year as the country is rapidly heading to an aged society, government data showed Monday.

A total of 3,159 centenarians were living in the country as of November 2015, up from 1,835 tallied five years earlier, according to the census data compiled by Statistics Korea.

It noted 2,731, or 86.5 percent of the total, are female, far outnumbering 428 men.

They cited that their secret to living a long life is healthy eating habits, such as light eating, a well-regulated lifestyle and optimistic attitude.

Nearly 80 percent of them have abstained from heavy drinking and smoking throughout their lives, while their favorite foods are vegetables and meat.

South Korea's population has been rapidly aging for years, raising concerns over a decrease in the working-age population, coupled with a low birthrate.

According to separate data by the statistics agency, 13.1 percent of South Korea's 50.62 million population were 65 or older in 2015, showing that the country is on the threshold of becoming an aged society, whose percentage of seniors surpasses 14 percent.

brk@yna.co.kr
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