Iowa third in U.S. for per capita centenarians


June 13th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

More than 800 residents of Iowa are 100 years old or older and Iowa Department on Aging spokesperson Machelle Shaffer says that places the Hawkeye state third in the U.S. in terms of per capita number of centenarians.

photo from the 2011 Centenarian's recption

The Iowa Department of Aging will be honoring Iowans 100 years of age or older at a reception in Des Moines later this year. Shaffer says it’s interesting to hear from the centenarians about the secrets to a long life. “Nine times out of 10 they’ll say the same thing: ‘hard work.’ And a lot of it was hard work on a farm,” Shaffer says. “They talk about walking a lot and not having access to an automobile. So, that Midwestern/Iowa work ethic…is helping people live longer, healthier lives.” Centenarians are encouraged to contact the Iowa Department on Aging so they can be included on a registry and the invite list for 2012 Centenarian Honors Celebration reception. It’ll be held October 23 at the State Historical Building in Des Moines.

“We just want to encourage folks, if they know somebody who is 100 or will be turning 100 by the end of October, to give us a call at 1-800-532-3213,” Shaffer said. The reception on October 23 will be open to all of Iowa’s centenarians – both those new to the registry and those previously honored.

(Radio Iowa)