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Aging results in record number of Dutch people over 100

Percentage jumped since 1995

Tags: Excerpts from the Windmill

AMSTERDAM - The news that the Netherlands is home to the oldest person in the world may surprise some people, but definitely is part of the country’s general aging. The number of Dutch centennarians - now 1,425 - is higher then ever, up 37 percent since 1995. The Hague is home to 72 people 100 years or older.

The world’s oldest person, 114-year old Hendrikje van Andel-Schipper of Hoogeveen, is the only person who has been receiving Dutch pension AOW since it was instituted in 1957, reports administrative agency Sociale Verzekeringsbank (SVB).

The highest per capita of centennarians reside in Laren (North-Holland), followed by Wieringen and North Beveland. Smaller municipalities rate high on that scale while fastgrowing cities such as Houten, Woerden and Maarssen lag far behind. Rotterdam has a 100-plus population of 68, Amsterdam 61.

Aging beyond the 100-mark does not depend on national borders. Quite regularly, Dutch immigrants reach such high ages too. Had the recently deceased Herman Zylstra of Sheldon, Iowa, still lived in the Netherlands, at age 106 he would have died as the country’s oldest man.