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Who Are The Oldest People In The UK In 2024

Elaine Brookes Steve Case

Author: Steve Case - Insurance Expert

Reviewed & Fact Checked By: Elaine Brookes

Updated: 25th February 2024

Oldest People

When you think of an elderly person, how old do you think they are? There are a lot of different definitions, and it tends to change as you get older.

A child thinks anyone over 20 is old. Someone in their teens might think people in their late 30s are old. Someone in their 30s considers retirement age – either the social 55 or the legal 67 – their threshold for old age.

What about people in their 80s? Their 90s? Their 100s? Undoubtedly, these individuals are old, but they aren’t even the oldest people in the UK. The oldest, the record holders, go even further beyond that age.

They reach a status known as “supercentenarian” and live past their 110th birthday. So, who are the oldest people in the UK?

Basic Stats for the Oldest People in the UK

While numerous people have lived over the age of 110 throughout the history of the UK, modern record-keeping makes tracking their numbers surprisingly difficult.

Many of the oldest people may not actually remember when they were born, and records may be variable, lost in any of the numerous conflicts in the last century, or just unavailable. And really, what’s another year once you’re 107 years old?

Studies have shown that many, though certainly not all, of the oldest people may not have been as old as anyone thought. That’s a matter for another time, however.

To the extent that we’re aware, there are an estimated 170 people in the UK who are over the age of 107.

Of those, 75 are over the age of 108, and 30 are over the age of 109. There are three people known to be over the age of 111.

Over 100 people have lived to the age of 111 or older in the UK, at least since modern records have begun. More may have been that old, and even some older, but with patchy records, it can be hard to verify.

Basic Stats

Interestingly, of the 100 to have lived the longest in the history of the UK, 95 of them have been women.

Of the 116 oldest people currently living in the UK, 104 are women. Truly, women do live longer than men. Why? Well, there are likely many factors, from genetics to 1900s lives of physical labour and more, but we don’t really have the data to say for sure.

  • The oldest known living person is Maria Branyas, born on 4 March 1907, and is 116 years and 344 days old as of the time of this writing. She lives in Spain.
  • The oldest known living man is Juan Vicente Perez, born on 27 May 1909, and is currently 114 years and 260 days old. He lives in Venezuela.
  • Jiroemon Kimura, the oldest known man, was born on 19 April 1897, died on 12 June 2013 and lived to be 116 years and 54 days old. He was born in Japan.
  • Jeanne Calment, the oldest known woman and person ever, was born on 21 February 1875, died on 4 August 1997 and lived to be an incredible 122 years and 164 days old. She was born in France.

People may have lived longer than this – and there may even be older people still living – but without independent records to verify their ages, it’s not probable.

Supercentenarian Distribution By UK Region

RegionNumber of SupercentenariansAverage Age
London25110.8 years
Surrey16110.6 years
Kent10111.2 years

Supercentenarian Gender Split in the UK

GenderNumber of SupercentenariansPercentage of Total
Female22393.7%
Male156.3%

Age Breakdown Of UK Population Aged 106+

AgeNumber of People
106149
10775
10829
10913
1109
111+6

UK Life Expectancy Trends Over The Decades

DecadeKey Milestone or Trend
1950sLess than 2.2% of people aged 30 reach 100.
1980sFor the first time, the likelihood of males living to 100 goes above 1%.
2000sOver 5% of octogenarians (people aged 80) live to see 100.
2010s15% of nonagenarians (people aged 90+) have the chance to reach 100.
  • The likelihood of reaching 100 has increased significantly over the decades.
  • The trend shows a gradual increase in life expectancy for both men and women, with women generally having a higher life expectancy.
  • By the 2010s, a significant portion of people aged 90 and above had a strong chance of reaching 100, highlighting improvements in healthcare and quality of life.

These tables provide a comprehensive overview of the distribution, gender split and age breakdown of the oldest people in the UK, and trends in life expectancy.

The UK’s oldest man celebrates 111th birthday

The Ten Oldest People Ever in the UK

Of the ten oldest known people to have ever lived in the UK, nine are deceased, but one – the current oldest living person in the UK – is still alive.

The Ten Oldest People
  1. Charlotte Hughes, Female, was born on 1 August 1877, died on 17 March 1993, and lived to be 115 years and 228 days old. She was born in England and died in England.
  2. Annie Jennings, Female, was born 12 November 1884, died 20 November 1999, and lived to be 115 years and eight days old. She was born in England and died in England.
  3. Eva Morris, Female, was born 8 November 1885, died 2 November 2000, and lived to be 114 years and 360 days old. She was born in England and died in England.
  4. Ethal Lang, the Female, was born on 27 May 1900, died on 15 January 2015, and lived to be 114 years and 233 days old. She was born in England and died in England.
  5. Anna Eliza Williams, the Female, was born on 2 June 1873, died on 27 December 1987 and lived to be 114 years and 208 days old. She was born in England and died in Wales.
  6. Grace Clawson, Female, was born on 15 November 1887, died on 28 May 2002, and lived to be 114 years and 194 days old. She was born in England and died in the United States.
  7. Ethel Caterham, Female, was born on 21 August 1909 and is still alive. She is (as of this writing) 114 years and 174 days old and is poised to move up a spot on this list. She was born in England and currently still resides here.
  8. Lucy Jane Askew, the Female, was born on 8 September 1883, died on 9 December 1997, and lived to be 114 years and 92 days old. She was born in England and died in England.
  9. Phyllis Ridgway, Female, was born on 10 March 1907, died on 4 June 2021, and lived to be 114 years and 86 days old. She was born in England and died in Canada.
  10. Florrie Baldwin, the Female, was born on 31 March 1896, died on 4 June 2021, and was 114 years and 38 days old. She was born in England and died in England.

The top ten oldest people to have ever lived in the UK are all women; in fact, the first-oldest man is only number 24 on this list.

  1. Henry Allingham, Male, was born on 6 June 1896, died on 18 July 1992, and lived to be 113 years and 42 days old. He was born in England and died in England. He holds 24th place on the list.
  2. John Evans, Male, was born 19 August 1877, died 10 June 1990, and lived to be 112 years and 295 days old. He was born in Wales and died in Wales. He holds 33rd place on the list.
  3. Robert Weighton, Male, was born 29 March 1908, died 28 May 2020, and lived to be 112 years and 60 days old. He was born in England and died in England. He holds 54th place on the list.
  4. Arthur Nash, Male, was born on 7 January 1885, died on 4 November 1996, and lived to be 111 years and 302 days old. He was born in England and died in Canada. He holds 75th place on the list.
  5. Jonh Mosley Turner, Male, was born on 15 June 1856, died on 21 March 1968, and lived to be 111 years and 280 days old. He was born in England and died in England. He holds 83rd place on the list.

There are also two more living supercentenarians older than a couple of those men, so the rankings are certainly going to shift. 

Ethel Caterham supercentenarian

Here’s a quick visualisation of these ages:

Age GroupNumber of People
Over 107170
Over 10875
Over 10930
Over 1113

This shows how uncommon and impressive it is to hit 111 years old!

You can learn more about the oldest people to have ever lived in the UK here.

The Oldest Living People in the UK

As you can see from the list above, only one of the top ten oldest people ever in the UK is still alive.

Oldest People Still Living in UK
  1. Ethel Caterham, as previously mentioned, was born on 21 August 1901 and is 114 years and 174 days old. She currently lives in Surrey.
  2. Mary Walker was born on 28 August 1911 and is currently 112 years and 167 days old. She currently lives in London.
  3. Mary Keir was born on 3 March 1912, and is currently 111 years and 345 days old. She currently lives in Wales.
  4. John Tinniswood was born on 26 August 1912 and is currently 111 years and 169 days old. He lives in Merseyside.
  5. Merah Smith was born on 9 November 1912 and is currently 111 years and 94 days old. She lives in London.

Along with many others, the Oldest in Britain organisation keeps track of living people over the age of 107 in this list. There are even photos available for many of them.

Similarly, the European Supercentenarian Organisation maintains records of the oldest living in Europe. According to their records, there are 55 individuals who have reached and surpassed the incredible age of 110 years old.

Of those 55, two are men, and both live in England: John Tinniswood, as mentioned above, and John Farringdon, who was born on 7 June 1913 and is currently 110 years and 249 days old.

Who Is The Oldest Person In Scotland?

Marion Dawson, Scotland’s oldest person, celebrated her 110th birthday, revealing her longevity secret: a mix of luck and abstaining from alcohol.

Born in 1913, Marion has lived through significant historical events, including both World Wars, the Spanish flu epidemic, and the COVID-19 pandemic, all while residing in Renfrewshire.

She attributes her long life to never having consumed alcohol, preferring lemonade instead. Marion, who only moved to Morar Living care home at the age of 109, is described as mentally sharp and enjoying a full life with visits from friends and family.

Her life is so inspiring that local schoolchildren have written a play about her.

Who Is The Oldest Person In Ireland?

Ireland’s oldest person, Mairin Hughes, celebrated her 109th birthday with wisdom and joy.

Born in Belfast and having lived across Ireland, she spent her special day at Maryfield Nursing Home in Dublin, surrounded by community, family, and a festive atmosphere.

Hughes, who enjoys crossword puzzles and birdwatching and maintains an active lifestyle, shared her advice for a fulfilling life: “Live fully and don’t waste time”.

She reflects on her life’s journey with gratitude, emphasising the importance of attitude and the ability to adapt and learn from life’s experiences.

Hughes, described as inspirational and witty, continues to engage in daily activities like Scrabble and puzzles, embodying her belief in staying mentally active and connected to the world around her.

The Challenges of Being Extremely Old

As we age, we all face challenges. The loss of mobility and independence, the need to carefully monitor health, diet, and lifestyle; at a certain point, there’s only so much you can continue to do with yourself.

Challenges of Being Old

The oldest people often have common tips for those younger than them – that is, everybody – on how to grow old without growing frail.

  • Eating a natural diet, food from the garden, not processed foods. Moreover, avoiding over-eating is important as well. Japan, which boasts the largest number of supercentenarians in the world, finds that the cultural practice of hara hachi bu – eating until only 80% full – was very common amongst the oldest living people.
  • Get plenty of rest. Misao Okawa, one of the longest-lived women in history, made sure she got at least eight hours of sleep a night. Stress isn’t good for the body or the soul.
  • Stay active. A sedentary life leads to a rapid decline in the elderly, and most, if not all, of the oldest people in history have maintained active lifestyles to the capacity that they’re able. Misao Okawa broke her leg at 102, but she didn’t let it stop her; she even did squats to help strengthen and recover.

Another significant challenge is simple finances. For residents of the UK, throughout our working lives, we pay into our pensions with the eventual goal of retiring and living off of that pension.

We’re fortunate in that the UK State Pension is guaranteed for life, but it’s also not necessarily enough to keep living on, especially if it was balanced for a decades-old economy. Things are more expensive now, after all.

We remember the story of Jeanne Calment, who not only reached that advanced age of 122, but she did so in security.

When she was 90, a lawyer bought the apartment she lived in. In order for her to agree to the sale, however, she negotiated a stipend; he would pay her 2,500 francs a month until she died, after which he could have the apartment to do with as he would.

Unfortunately, as men are not nearly as long-lived as women and Jeanne herself was an outlier on every front, she outlived the lawyer; the man paid her monthly stipend with no returns for the remainder of his life. Jeanne, meanwhile, had never had to work.

Unfortunately for the genetic longevity of the human race, Jeanne’s daughter only had one son, who himself died childless; their line has ended.

Unlike Jeanne’s unfortunate circumstances, most of us have families we wish to care for, both now and after we pass.

Insurance Hero

Typically, this is where we mention life insurance, a way to pay a small monthly fee to set a large payout when you pass to support your loved ones.

Of course, if you’re 45 and you buy a 30-year term life insurance policy that only covers you until you’re 75, for someone like Jeanne, who lived to be 122, that’s money gone to nothing. 

Will most of us live to be over 100? Likely not. Will some of us? Perhaps only time will tell. For those who come from a history of the long-lived, and those who plan to do everything they can to stick around, there are life insurance policies available for them as well.

Whole life or even rolling a term policy into guaranteed cover can be great options to ensure support for our families after we pass.

Here at Insurance Hero, we’re here to help. It’s quick and easy to get a free quote online and prepare for your future, no matter how long that future may be!