IDL

International Database on Longevity

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IDL Project

Introduction

The International Database on Longevity (IDL) is the result of an ongoing, concerted effort to provide thoroughly validated information on individuals who have attained extreme ages. The IDL allows for the demographic analysis of mortality at the highest ages.

The IDL draws its candidates for inclusion in the database from comprehensive records of gov-ernment agencies, as this ensures that there is no dependency between the probability of being included and age. Candidates who meet strict criteria for the validity of their age (date of their birth) are then included in the IDL. Nevertheless, the IDL does not provide exhaustive sets of validated supercentenarians and semi-supercentenarians for any country, because it would be nearly impossible to find documents that would allow for the validation of the ages of all of the individuals on the list.

In most of the countries that contribute data to the IDL, the records of deaths at extreme ages are obtained from the vital registration system. The records of living individuals are often more difficult to obtain, particularly for countries without a population register. In the validation process, records that do not meet the age threshold are rejected, and records for which no satisfactory determination could be made are annotated as such.

Originally, the IDL data were collected for individuals who attained an age of 110 years or higher – i.e., for so-called “supercentenarians”. This first version of the IDL was launched in 2010. The collected data were used in the first monograph on supercentenarians, published in 2010.

The current version of the IDL includes all previously published data, as well as new data that have been collected in subsequent rounds of updates. The format of the public version of the IDL was revised in 2019. The most important change introduced in 2019 was the extension of the data collection to include for some countries the records of people who had attained ages 105-109 (so-called “semi-supercentenarians”). In addition, new data fields that indicate the quality of the validation process were introduced.

The IDL currently has information on supercentenarians for 14 European countries, as well as for Canada (Quebec only), Japan, and the United States. Data on semi-supercentenarians are provided by 11 countries, but not by Finland, Sweden, or Spain.

The information entered into the IDL is supplied by a group of international contributors. The IDL takes great care to ensure data privacy. All individual information is anonymized, and no information on the identity of any individual is made available. The IDL provides data for research purposes that can be downloaded free of charge. Terms of usage can be found here.