Life expectancy at birth has reached its highest level, while the number of people living for a century or more has continued to grow.

In 2012, there were 800 people aged 100 or older living in Scotland, according to figures from the National Records of Scotland (NRS).

The overwhelming majority of centenarians are women. In 2012, women accounted for 680 of Scotland's centenarians (85%) while 120 men had reached the milestone.

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Although the male population aged 90 to 99 increased from 2011 to 2012, almost three-quarters of people in their 90s are women (73%)

Life expectancy is now 76.5 years for males and 80.7 years for females, based on statistics covering 2010-2012.

Registrar General for Scotland and NRS chief executive Tim Ellis said: "The number of people living in Scotland who are 100 years old or more has been steadily rising. In 2002, there were 520 centenarians, increasing to 800 in 2012. The majority of centenarians are females although the proportion who are male has increased from 10% in 2002 to 15% in 2012.

"This suggests that the gap in mortality between men and women for this age group is narrowing.

"More generally, while life expectancy at birth in Scotland is higher than it has ever been, life expectancy at birth in Scotland is still the lowest within the UK."

Male life expectancy in Scotland is 2.2 years lower than the UK average and female life expectancy is 1.9 years lower.

Scotland lags even further behind other European countries. Male life expectancy in Sweden is 79.9 years, 3.4 years higher than in Scotland.