Have you ever thought about what it would be like to live to 100-years old or longer? A new report from the U.S. Census Bureau has revealed some new, eye opening facts about American centenarians.

The data, compiled from 2007 – 2011, shows that centenarians have been on the rise in America, but making it past 100 is still exceedingly rare. Today, the 100 and over crowd makes up just 0.02% of the U.S. population.

It doesn’t come as a shock to find out that 4 in 5 centenarians are women, but how they are living may surprise you.

Only 6% are married, and 1 in 3 are managing to live alone. Compared to the rest of the over 65 population in America, centenarians are 2x as likely to be living in poverty, and are less likely to be educated.

Some other interesting facts… Centenarians are considerably less diverse than the overall U.S. population. In 2010, more than 80% of centenarians were white, versus 72.4% of the total population. A large majority of the oldest U.S. citizens live in urban areas, with California and New York having the most centenarian residents.

So what does this mean and what can we learn? The study explains: “Centenarian studies are critical to our understanding and improvement of the quality of life for seniors as they age. Not only that, we can learn a lot about healthy aging and perhaps even prolong life expectancy by figuring out how these super-oldsters have lived so long. When centenarians are asked for their tips on how to live a long life, having an optimistic attitude is one piece of advice that usually is at the top of their lists.”

Although not 100 YET, there are several WYSKs we can learn from when it comes to living a long, healthy and productive life. These are just a few we’ve featured who are redefining aging…

olgaOlga Kotelko, a 94-year old woman from Vancouver, Canada, is considered to be one of the world’s greatest athletes. Yes, we said 94!

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style_octsFabulous Fashionistas, a documentary by award-winning director Sue Bourne, introduces us to six extraordinary women with an average age of 80, who are not letting growing old get in the way of looking fabulous while having fun doing it.

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taoThe Woman You Should Know in this gravity defying yoga pose is Tao Porchon-Lynch. At age 94, she is an active yoga master, a competitive ballroom dancer, Athleta Sponsored Athlete and blogger.

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charlotte_oct86-year old Charlotte Kahn, earned a master’s and doctorate from Columbia University, has published numerous professional articles and books, and is a respected psychoanalyst and family therapist in private practice in New York City.

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Mary_blockIslMary Donnelly, known as “Resident Angel Mary D” of New Shoreham, Block Island is, at 86-years old, the longest working employee of Rhode Island.

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