Living to 100 years and beyond

From 1950 to 2010, the number of centenarians in Switzerland virtually doubled every ten years. From 2012 onwards, this trend stabilised: there are now between 1500 and 1600 persons in this age group, more than 80% of whom are women. At the end of 2020, the number of centenarians will amount to 1726 persons, an increase of 4.9% compared to the previous year.

According to the longitudinal analysis on mortality (generational life tables 1876-2030), it can be estimated that one in four girls and one in six boys born in 2020 may become centenarians.

The number of centenarians will probably increase again over the next few decades because of longer life expectancy.

Cantonal distribution of centenarians

By the End of 2020, Switzerland had 20 centenarians per 100 000 residents. The cantons with the greatest concentration of centenarians were Basel-Stadt and Ticino with more than 30 centenarians per 100 000 residents. Those with the lowest number were Zug and Glarus with less then 10 per 100 000 residents.

The ranking of the cantons is slightly different when the number of centenarians is compared to that of seniors (65 years or over). The top trio of Basel-Stadt, Geneva and Ticino recorded 191, 170 and 153 centenarians respectively per 100 000 seniors.

Centenarians are not always widows or widowers

In terms of marital status, the vast majority of centenarians are widows or widowers. It is however interesting to note that one in ten centenarian has never changed their marital status throughout their life and has thus always remained single.

Centenarians in Europe

On 1 January 2020, Switzerland is in the middle of the international ranking, with values similar to those of Denmark, i.e. 19 centenarians per 100,000 inhabitants.

Further information




Statistical sources and concepts


Federal Statistical Office Section Demography and Migration
Espace de l'Europe 10
CH-2010 Neuch√Ętel



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