BOCA RATON, Fla. — Turning 100 isn’t such a big deal any more. America’s population of centenarians — already the largest in the world — has roughly doubled in the past 20 years to around 72,000 and is projected to at least double again by 2020, perhaps even increase sevenfold, according to the Census Bureau.
The Census Bureau estimates there were 71,991 centenarians as of Dec. 1, up from 37,306 two decades earlier. While predicting longevity and population growth is difficult, the census’ low-end estimate for 2050 is 265,000 centenarians; its highest projection puts the number at 4.2 million.
“They have been the fastest-growing segment of our population in terms of age,” said Thomas Perls, director of the New England Centenarian Study at Boston University.
The rising number of centenarians is not just a byproduct of the nation’s growing population — they make up a bigger chunk of it. In 1990, about 15 in every 100,000 Americans had reached 100; in 2010, it was more than 23 per 100,000, according to census figures.
Arizona gov.: Birther issue ‘path of destruction’
PHOENIX — Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer says the so-called “birther” issue is a potentially destructive issue for the U.S.
Brewer was interviewed on CNN on Monday about her decision a week ago to veto an Arizona bill that would have required President Barack Obama and other presidential candidates to prove their natural-born citizenship.
Brewer reiterated her veto explanation that the bill was poorly drafted. She also said she believes there’s no question that it was directed at Obama though it’s clear he was born in Hawaii.
She told CNN interviewer John King that the birther issue is leading the nation “down a path of destruction.”
4 pit bulls attack, kill New Mexico woman
TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES, N.M. — A woman from Truth or Consequences has died after being attacked by four pit bull dogs while taking a walk Easter Sunday, New Mexico authorities said.
Officer James Harrington said he found four pit bulls mauling Margaret Salcedo, 48, when he arrived in response to a 911 call.
The department said his attempt to drive the animals off was unsuccessful, and he fired several shots at one of the dogs when it threatened him. That animal fled, and Harrington was able to scatter the remaining dogs.
Harrington and emergency technicians gave first aid to Salcedo, but she died later at Sierra Vista Hospital in the central New Mexico community.
Three of the dogs were located a short time later and taken to the Hot Springs Animal Shelter, where they are quarantined. The fourth dog, shot by Harrington, was later found dead under a house.
The dogs’ owners were not home when the attack occurred.
State police, who are handling the investigation, are working with the District Attorney’s Office to determine whether charges will be filed.
New Mexico also had fatal dog attacks in 2010 and 2006.