Volume 25 - Article 7 | Pages 245–284

Exceptional Longevity in Okinawa:: A Plea for In-depth Validation

By Michel Poulain

Print this page  Facebook  Twitter


Date received:18 Dec 2010
Date published:21 Jul 2011
Word count:8780
Keywords:age validation, bad data, centenarians, impact of war, longevity, mortality, mortality crossover, Okinawa


The topic of this article is the exceptional longevity in Okinawa. This phenomenon should be thoroughly validated at both the individual and population levels. This contribution analyzes the demographic data available for the population of Okinawa, in order to explain the presence of large numbers of centenarians. The mortality crossover obtained by comparing mortality rates in Okinawa and Japan could be attributed either to different behavior of the generations born before and after WW II, or to bad data. Arguments are presented in favor of both possible explanations. The reconstruction of the Koseki to replace the original, which was destroyed during WW II, could be a source of misreporting of age and would support the bad data hypothesis. Nevertheless, no concrete proof of invalid data has been found. Therefore, the author does not favor either of these explanations, but is calling for a more in-depth validation of longevity in Okinawa.

Author's Affiliation

Michel Poulain - Tallinna Ülikool, Estonia [Email]

Other articles by the same author/authors in Demographic Research

» Trends in living arrangements and their impact on the mortality of older adults: Belgium 1991‒2012
Volume 43 - Article 15

Most recent similar articles in Demographic Research

» The mystery of Japan's missing centenarians explained
Volume 26 - Article 11    | Keywords: centenarians, longevity, mortality

» The number of centenarians in Brazil: Indirect estimates based on death certificates
Volume 20 - Article 20    | Keywords: centenarians, longevity, mortality

» Demographic characteristics of Sardinian centenarian genealogies: Preliminary results of the AKeA2 study
Volume 32 - Article 37    | Keywords: centenarians, longevity

» Maternal longevity is associated with lower infant mortality
Volume 31 - Article 42    | Keywords: centenarians, longevity

» A matrix approach to the statistics of longevity in heterogeneous frailty models
Volume 31 - Article 19    | Keywords: longevity, mortality


»Volume 25





Similar Articles



Jump to Article

Volume Page
Volume Article ID