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Americans are living longer as a whole, but there are certain states where people age more gracefully, according to a new study. “Nationwide, the centenarian population has grown 65.8 percent over the past three decades, from 32,194 people who were age 100 or older in 1980 to 53,364 centenarians in 2010, according to new Census Bureau data,” reports Yahoo News.

But people who live to be 100 appear to have certain living circumstances in common. Surprisingly, most Americans who live longer live in urban areas. So forget the quiet country life. Actually, 85.7 percent of centenarians lived in urban areas in 2010, compared with 84.2 percent of those in their 90s, 81.5 percent of those in their 80s, and 76.6 percent of those in their 70s, writes Yahoo News.

The Northeast and Midwest have more centenarians than the national average of 1.73 per 10,000 people. The West and South have below-average proportions of centenarians. People in the Northeast tend to be more highly educated, and education is associated with a longer life expectancy, reports the website. And, North Dakota is the only state with more than three centenarians for every 10,000 people in the state.

Here’s a sampling of the states with high numbers of centenarians:

1) Iowa had 846 centenarians, according to the most recent Census.

2) In Connecticut, 930 people had reached 100  in 2010.

3) New York state has 4,605 centenarians, second only to California (5,921). However, a much larger proportion of New York’s population is age 100 or older (0.024 percent), compared with California (0.016 percent).

4) There are 1,520 people age 100 and older in Massachusetts, which accounts for 0.023 percent of the population. And 50,258 Massachusetts residents are in their 90s.

5) In 2010, there were 1,211 Minnesota residents who were 100 years old.

All of these older Americans have made government programs like Medicare and Social Security that much more important. While it’s a possibility that the sequester — $1.2 billion in automatic spending cuts that would go into effect on March 1 — will happen, CNBC reports: “Democrats are also digging in, with many of the most liberal lawmakers content to see the cuts occur because they exempt Medicare and Social Security benefits.” Nevertheless, if those cuts take place, it could be trouble for all of us in this still ailing economy.

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