THE number of 100-year-olds in Scotland has risen to a record high of 830, according to official records.
Figures based on the 2001 census estimate the total grew from 580 a decade ago.
Audrey Robertson, acting Registrar General for Scotland, suggested the number could continue to grow because of a baby boom in the early 1920s.
Loading article content
She said: "The number of centenarians living in Scotland has been steadily rising, from 580 in 2002 to 830 in 2011, which is a growth of 43%.
"Around eight out of every 10 centenarians are women. Estimates of the number of people aged 90 to 99 show relatively big increases in 2010 and 2011.
"This is partly due to births in 1920 and 1921 being much higher than in the preceding years. The number of births in 1920 was the highest since the introduction of national registration in 1855."
In 2011, about 700 of the centenarians ((84%) were women while 130 men reached the milestone, the records showed.
Although the male population aged 90 to 99 increased substantially from 2009 to 2011, almost three-quarters of people in their 90s are women (73%).
Statisticians pointed out living to 100 a century ago was very uncommon. However, this changed at the beginning of the 21st century when estimates showed there were more than 500 people aged 100 and over in Scotland. Despite the growth in numbers, the ratio works out at less than two centenarians for every 10,000 people.
Conservative health spokesman Jackson Carlaw said the NHS and social care services were not prepared for the demands of an ageing population. He said: "It is a positive sign people in Scotland are living longer but it also serves as a strict reminder that our population is ageing constantly. Our NHS and social care services are simply not prepared for this and we need to put in place plans now to deal with an issue which will only become more challenging."
He added: "Already this week we have seen a damning report into the care of old people at the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, which is hardly a sign of encouragement for the future. Standards of care for this demographic should be improving, not regressing."
Scottish Liberal Democrat leader Willie Rennie MSP said: "The queen will have an exceptionally busy year writing congratulatory messages. People in Scotland are living longer, healthier lives. As a result, the way in which the Government cares for people from cradle to grave will undoubtedly change.
"Liberal Democrats want to see an increased focus on delivering health and social care services in the community. This is the approach needed to manage demand on services successfully."