What 100-Year-Olds Say About Aging, Happiness and Positivity

Do you feel old? It turns out that many 100-year-olds don’t. Those who do say they didn’t start to feel old until they hit their 80s. And they didn’t look back on childhood as the happiest time of their lives. When asked when they felt most happy, the average age turned out to be 44.

Twenty-five percent of centenarians credit positive attitude as the most important factor for staying healthy. Sixty-one percent believe themselves to be positive people, and 47 percent say positivity gets easier with age.

Here are some more fascinating insights from UnitedHealthcare’s annual survey of centenarians and 10-year-olds.


What 100-year-olds have to say about aging

On average, 100-year-olds feel about 79-years-old. Sixty percent say they don’t feel old at all. Twenty-five percent say a positive attitude is the most important factor for staying healthy. Twenty-one percent say it’s eating healthy, 10 percent say exercise and nine percent say it’s keeping busy.

Looking back, 100-year-olds felt:

How 100-year-olds and 10-year-olds view life

On when you start to get old: It’s a matter of perspective

100-year-olds: of those who felt old, most didn’t feel that way until they hit their 80s
10-year-olds: people start to get old at 46

On exercise preferences


  • walking or hiking: 46%
  • exercise to strengthen muscles: 34%
  • meditation or other stress-relieving activities: 29%
  • cardiovascular indoors: 24%
  • working in a garden: 23%


  • playing outside: 74%
  • playing active video games: 60%
  • sports like baseball, basketball, soccer, tennis: 51%
  • bike riding: 47%
  • running outside: 42%

On being a positive person: It gets better with age


100-year-olds: 61% say they are positive people, and 47% say this gets easier with age

10-year-olds: 44% call themselves positive people

On the key to fueling positivity

100-year-olds: 11% credit family and friends

10-year-olds: 31% say family and friends

On the importance of family

Family is a top priority for both groups and being with family and going on vacation are among their best childhood memories. Also:

100-year-olds: 45% would rather spend time with family than anyone else in the world and 83% say they speak with extended family daily or weekly

10-year-olds: 40% would choose family over anyone else and 84% say they speak with extended family daily or weekly

On which celebrity to invite to dinner: It’s a generational thing

100-year-olds: 63% want to dine with Betty White

10-year-olds: 67% want to share a meal with Taylor Swift (66% of centenarians don’t know who she is)

On childhood role models

100-year-olds: 46% name their parents as childhood role models

10-year-olds: 71% name their parents

Both groups were twice as likely to name their mother as their father, but one 10-year-oldgave this piece of advice: “Never stop singing and dancing, even if your mom says you are too loud.”

Never Stop

On money: The times they are a-changin’

100-year-olds: only 18% received an allowance as a child; 56% of those earned a dollar or less per week

10-year-olds: 48% receive a weekly allowance; 80% of them get between $5 and $20

On dining out

100-year-olds: rarely, if ever, dined out with family as children

10-year-olds: 56% eat out at least once a week

On childhood toys

100-year-olds: 35% say dolls were their favorite

10-year-olds: 32% favor video games

On selfies

100-year-olds: only 1% have ever taken a selfie and 43% don’t know what a selfie is

10-year-olds: 2/3 have taken a selfie

10-year-olds look forward to being older so they can:

  • do what they want: 15%
  • drive: 14%
  • going to college: 7%
  • live on their own: 7%

The UnitedHealthcare survey involved 100 U.S. centenarians and 100 U.S. 10-year-olds. For more information, visit http://www.uhc.com/100.

Why I’m Damn Happy To Be Middle-Aged
5 Things No One Tells You About Life After 50
Make My Day: Call Me Ma’am


Mike R
Mike R22 days ago


Paulo R
Paulo Rabout a month ago


Paulo R
Paulo R1 months ago


Paulo R
Paulo R1 months ago


Mike R
Mike R2 months ago


Mike R
Mike R2 months ago


Telica R
Telica R8 months ago

thanks for sharing.

Jeramie D
Jeramie D9 months ago

Oh to be 10 again. If I live to be 100, I hope I can still sing and dance.

Jerome S
Jerome S10 months ago


Jerome S
Jerome S10 months ago