Cuba, with a population of just over 11 million people, is home to 2,153 people who are over one hundred years old, with at least three of them between 113 and 115 years old, according to official data published by local press.
Juventude Rebelde reported that, geographically, the majority of Cuba's centenarians are located in the eastern provinces of the country, with the capital of Havana having a sizable amount as well. A little over half of those over one hundred years old, 1,200 are women.
Dr. Alberto Fernandez, head of the Department of the Elderly, Social Welfare and Mental Health said that Cuba is among the countries with the highest aging rate among its population with more than 2.2 million people over 60 years of age, roughly 20 percent of the population.
Dr. Fernandez added that over 87 percent of Cubans live past 60 years of age and predicted that the number would reach more than 90 percent in the next decade.
The reasons for Cuban longevity, he explained, are directly related to a decline in the fertility and mortality rate, coupled with robust healthcare and social security systems that are free and accessible to all.
Cuba is “an example of a successful aging population,” he said, adding that “studies show that most are not insane, disabled or entirely dependent."
In March, local media reported Maria Emilia Quesada Blanca, 116, as being the longest-living woman on the island and the fourth oldest worldwide although she doesn't appear in international records.