Top 10 Longest Living People in the World
This is a list of of the verified longest living people in the world in ordinal rank, such as oldest person or oldest man. In these tables, a supercentenarian is considered ‘verified’ if his or her claim has been validated by an international body that specifically deals in longevity research, such as the Gerontology Research Group or Guinness World Records.
10. Maggie Barnes - 115 years, 319 days
Maggie Pauline Barnes née Hinnant (6 March 1882 – 19 January 1998) was an American supercentenarian. She was a resident of Johnston County, North Carolina. Barnes died from complications following a minor foot infection. Barnes, who was born to a slave and married a tenant farmer, was survived by four children; 11 of her children preceded her in death. Some dispute exists as to her date of birth. Though the family Bible gives the 1882 date, she is listed as having been born in 1881 by the 1900 US Census, and she is listed as having been born in 1880 on her marriage license. Authenticating to the latter of those dates, Barnes was 115 years, 319 days old when she died.
9. Kamato Hongo – 116 years, 45 days
Kamato Hongo (September 16, 1887 – October 31, 2003) was a Japanese supercentenarian and apparently the world’s oldest recognized living person from March 2002 until her death. Aged 116 years 45 days at the time of her death, she was the last remaining documented person born before 1889.
8. Carrie C. White - 116 years, 88 days
Carrie C. White, née Joyner (18 November 1874? – 14 February 1991), was recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest person in the world around the time she celebrated her alleged 114th birthday in 1988. She held that title until her death in 1991, supposedly at the age of 116. However, her date of birth is disputed.
7. Elizabeth “Lizzie” Bolden – 116 years, 118 days
Elizabeth “Lizzie” Bolden (August 15, 1890 – December 11, 2006) was an American supercentenarian woman who, at the time of her death at age 116 years and 118 days, was recognized by Guinness World Records as the then world’s oldest living person. She was the last remaining documented person born in 1890. Bolden was the seventh recorded person to reach age 116 without dispute, and the most recent person to do so.
6. Tane Ikai – 116 years, 175 days
Tane Ikai (January 18, 1879 – July 12, 1995) holds the record as the oldest undisputed person ever from Japan. She was also the oldest undisputed person ever from Asia. Ikai became Japan’s oldest person at age 113 in 1992 following the death of 114-year-old Waka Shirahama. She outlived her daughter and three sons. Ikai moved to a retirement home in 1972 at age 93 and enjoyed sewing and pottery making until she suffered a stroke at 99. She suffered from another stroke at age 113 and had been bed-ridden since. She had three meals of a rice porridge (known as “okayu”) a day. She died at age 116 years, 175 days (see List of the world’s oldest people) of kidney failure in Nagoya. Her body was the first of a supercentenarian known to be autopsied.
5. María Capovilla - 116 years, 347 days
María Esther Heredia de Capovilla ( 14 September 1889 – 27 August 2006) was an Ecuadorian supercentenarian, and, at the time of her death at age 116 years 347 days, was recognized by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest living person. She was the last remaining person born in the 1880s. Capovilla is the oldest person ever of South America – in fact of the whole southern hemisphere – and is one of only seven people who have lived to age 116 without question. Furthermore, she is the oldest person born in the 19th century to have lived into the 21st century, and historically the oldest person ever to have lived in three different centuries. Capovilla is also the oldest person from a developing country.
4. Marie-Louise Fébronie Meilleur - 117 years, 230 days
Marie-Louise Fébronie Meilleur (née Chassé; August 29, 1880 – April 16, 1998) was a French Canadian supercentenarian who, upon the death of Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment, became the oldest recognized living person. Meilleur is still the oldest validated Canadian ever.
3. Lucy Hannah - 117 years, 248 days
Lucy Hannah née Terrell (July 16, 1875 – March 21, 1993) was an American supercentenarian. Hannah is the third-oldest person ever and the oldest black person ever, as well as the oldest living American at the time of her death. She is also the oldest person never to have been the oldest living person, since she lived at the same time as Jeanne Calment, the oldest person ever to live.
2. Sarah DeRemer Knauss - 119 years, 97 days
Sarah DeRemer Knauss (September 24, 1880 – December 30, 1999) was an American supercentenarian considered the world’s oldest living person by Guinness World Records from April 16, 1998, the date of the death of 117-year-old Canadian Marie-Louise Meilleur, until her own death. At age 117, she also set the record for the world’s oldest “new” title-holder (which corresponds to the highest “valley” on a graph of the oldest living persons over time). Knauss is the second-oldest fully documented person ever, behind Jeanne Calment. She was the last verified living person to have been born before 1885, and the most recent person to reach age 117.
1. Jeanne Louise Calment - 122 years, 164 days
Jeanne Louise Calment (21 February 1875 – 4 August 1997) had the longest living person confirmed human life span in history, living to the age of 122 years, 164 days. She lived in Arles, France, for her entire life, and outlived both her daughter and grandson. She became especially well known from the age of 113, when the centenary of Vincent van Gogh’s visit brought reporters to Arles. She entered the Guinness Book of Records in 1988, and on 17 October 1995 she became the oldest person ever, having surpassed the (now dubious) case of Shigechiyo Izumi of Japan. She became the last living documented person born in the 1870s when the Japanese supercentenarian Tane Ikai (born 1879) died on 12 July 1995; in total she outlived no fewer than 329 undisputedly verified supercentenarians. Her life span has been thoroughly documented by scientific study, with more records having been produced to verify her age than for any other case. She is the only person ever to be confirmed beyond any doubt to have reached 120 years of age