An Italian woman, Emma Morano born November 29, 1899 is now officially the last living person recognised to have been born in the 1800. Her current age is 116 years and 167 days. Emma Morano was born in Civiasco, Vercelli, Piedmont, Italy, during the reign of King Umberto I.
After the death of American Susannah Mushatt Jones, who came to be known as “the very last American from the 1800s”, at her home in New York, she is now the oldest person in the world.
In all of history however, the longest-living human ever recorded was France’s Jeanne Calment, born in 1875, who had reached the age of 122 years and 164 days when she died in 1997.
Morano spoke to The New York Times in 2015 where she attributed her longevity to eating three eggs a day, two of which were eaten raw. The ‘habit’ had apparently began when it was recommended to her by a doctor as a course of treatment when she suffered anaemia in her teens. She also added that her longevity could be attributed to remaining single for the most part of her life.
Records from the USA’s National Institute on Aging attests to the fact that life expectancy in general has improved over the past 200 years. They observe that “although most babies born in 1900 did not live past age 50, life expectancy at birth now exceeds 83 years in Japan – the current leader – and is at least 81 years in several other countries.”
According to the Office of National Statistics, in the UK, life expectancy at birth is now on average 82.8 years for women and 79.1 years for men, , while the most common age at death is 86 for men and 89 for women.
Of course all the above statistics site examples far from home, Africa still has particular poor showings on life expectancy rankings with most countries situated at positions generally accepted as poor.
The general increase in life expectancy is widely attributed to the progress of medical science throughout the 20th and 21st centuries. As Africa continues to make leaps in those areas, we can expect improved showings down the line.