'Longevity Star' honors for city's century-old residents

Hu Min
Shanghai has more than 3,400 centenarians, authorities announce, in celebrating them on Double Ninth Festival day.
Hu Min

Shanghai has more than 3,400 centenarians, and the oldest resident is 114 years old, the city's civil affairs authorities announced on Thursday.

Xu Suzhen, who lives in Ruijin No. 2 Road Subdistrict in Huangpu District, has been crowned the city's "oldest" resident for four consecutive years.

'Longevity Star' honors for city's century-old residents

Two men aged 110 years are the oldest males in the city, living in Datuan Town in the Pudong New Area and Hongqiao Town in Minhang District.

In total, 20 centenarians were honored as "Longevity Stars" by Shanghai Civil Affairs Bureau.

Thursday marks China's Double Ninth Festival, a day to cherish the elderly.

The city's oldest citizen Xu has two sons and a daughter. She is a vegetarian and loves playing cards, her daughter Chu Junli said.

"My mother is optimistic, even tempered, kind and prefers to keep a low profile," said Chu. "She is very thrifty but helps out others when they are in difficulty. She enjoys chatting and taking a stroll when the weather is good."

The city also boasts four centenarian couples. The oldest couple has a combined age of 205 years. The husband is 104 years old, and his wife 101. They live in Sanlin Town of the Pudong New Area.

By the end of September, the city recorded 3,418 centenarians, of which 74.96 percent were female. Those aged between 100 and 105 accounted for 97.7 percent.

Huangpu, Xuhui, Jing'an, Hongkou districts and the Pudong New Area had the largest number of centenarians, accounting for 54.65 percent of the city's total. The number of centenarians in Pudong hit 710.

The city also had 2,340 people aged 99, the centenarians-to-be, by the end of September.

In 1953, the city only had one centenarian. The figure surpassed 1,000 in 2011. In 2017, it reached 2,000, and hit 2,500 the next year. Last year, it reached a record high of above 3,000.

Between 2000 and 2020, the average annual growth rate of centenarians reached 12.2 percent in the city, the bureau said.

The annual growth rate of male centenarians in the city hit 15.82 percent on average over the past 20 years, higher than the 11.4 percent of females, according to the bureau.

Dai Xiaomei, 101, said a regular schedule is the key to her longevity.

"I get up at 5am and the first thing is opening the window for a deep breath of fresh air," she said. "I have a good diet and have milk and porridge for breakfast."

"Happiness is most important," she said.

"I like reading newspapers and writing articles," said Wang Ruzhuang, 108. "I even surf the Internet. I am satisfied about my life."

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