Record number of 100-year-olds as Britons live longer

The number of 100-year-olds has increased five-fold in 30 years Credit: PA

The number of people reaching their century has increased five-fold in the last 30 years, new figures show.

The Queen sent birthday cards to 12,320 centenarians in England and Wales last year – compared to just 2,420 in 1981, according to the Office for National Statistics, the Daily Express reports.

It estimated 465,500 people were aged 90 or above in 2012 – an increase of 33 per cent on 10 years ago – and that while the gap is narrowing, women can now expect to live for 82.6 years on average compared with 78.7 years for men.

However, the figures show 10,540 women have passed their 100th birthday compared to 1,780 men.