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S China Island Province Boasts More than 1,000 Centenarians

The number of people receiving the "centenarian allowance" in south China's Hainan Province will exceed 1,000 next year, according to the provincial department of civil affairs.

The government of the island province will provide a monthly allowance of 150 yuan (US$22) to each of the 1,112 centenarians next year, up from 963 at present.

Among the centenarians, the oldest woman is claimed to be 117, born in January 1891 and surnamed Guo. The oldest male is 109, according to a local newspaper.

More than 980,000 residents, accounting for 11.68 percent of the province's population, are over 60, a department official said.

The mild climate and clean environment are considered to be the main reasons Hainan has become "an island of longevity."

According to the International Natural Medicine Association, the standard of "longevous region" is a place where there are at least seven centenarians for every 100,000 people.

Hainan has 11.7 centenarians for every 100,000 people.

(Xinhua News Agency October 5, 2008)

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