People are twice as likely to live to 100 in Martinique than Belgium

People are twice as likely to live to 100 in Martinique than Belgium
Credit: Belga

Like the regions of Okinawa (Japan), Ogliastra (Sardinia, Italy), Nicoya (Costa Rica) and Ikaria (Greece), Martinique presents itself as a “blue zone of longevity”, UCLouvain said Tuesday on the basis of a study by demographer and emeritus professor Michel Poulain. Thanks to various lifestyle and genetic factors, Martinicans living on their island are twice as likely as Belgians to live a century.

The study shows that the island’s population is more likely to live a century. Analysis of these longevity zones makes it possible to highlight the determinants of what makes people live longer and in good health. Following the study, it is advisable “to set up public or private initiatives to transfer the lessons” within our societies, the university points out.

On the first of January this year, Martinique had around 400 centenarians for 350,000 inhabitants. “Concretely, Michel Poulain was able to estimate that, between 1898 and 2022, the probability of becoming a centenarian was greater than 2% in Martinique, i.e. one in 40 newborns," says UCLouvain

"The level is similar to the highest in the world, observed in Sardinia and Okinawa, and is more than double that of Belgium," says the university. It is also observed that the Martinicans who stay on the island live longer than those who emigrate.

Several factors favour their longevity according to the research: genetics, a favourable climate and lifestyle as well as functioning social security and health care.

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