You are proud to say today you live in India’s Capital, but can you guess how many of your fellow citizens were actually around when the national capital was shifted from Calcutta to New Delhi in 1911? Or when Jana Gana Mana was sung for the first time that same year?
Believe it or not, the answer is not in mere tens or hundreds but an astounding 3,938. An age-wise analysis of the latest Census reveals that there are those many people aged 100 or more living in Delhi circa 2011.
And giving credence to the perception that women are sturdier and live longer than men, the data also shows that 2,090 of them are women and 1,848 men.
Across India, the number of centenarians stands at 6,05,449 — 3,16,295 women and 2,89,154 men.
Experts say centenarians are “a biologically strong lot of people” who have survived against all odds, including poverty.
Another interesting bit of trivia is that, at 4,44,290, there are more 30-year-olds in Delhi than people of any other age. Of these, 2,34,151 are men and 2,10,139 women.
Referring to a 2007-09 under-publication study of people aged 80+, Dr AB Dey, head of the geriatric department at AIIMS, says: “This lot has survived, rather escaped, everything from cataracts and osteoarthritis to heart attacks, diabetes and cancer.”
Food habits and a healthy lifestyle also contribute to one’s longevity, says Dey but adds there has been no study of Indians’ “longevity genes”.
Among states, Andhra Pradesh, at just 493, has a rather small number of centenarians in proportion to the size of its population, while Uttar Pradesh has a much higher figure of 1,99,598.
Several others states across India — Jammu & Kashmir, Assam, West Bengal, Odisha, Gujarat, Maharashtra, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu — also have a predominance of 30-year-olds in their population.
At the all-India level, though, the data shows there are more 10-year-olds (3,05,44,351) than people of any other age, with states such as Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Madhya Pradesh and Kerala also witnessing the same phenomenon.