Fordham University            The Jesuit University of New York

Welcome to the Fordham Centenarian Study!

When Joe B. walks along Arthur Avenue, he always has a joke for the people walking by and always meets someone he knows in the neighborhood. He likes to sing and dance, and just had his driver’s license renewed – this all would not be that special, except that Joe B. is 102 years old!

More and more individuals reach the age of 100 in developed countries around the world, and the US is home of the largest number of centenarians. Despite the fact that this number is expected to further increase over the next years with estimates between 800,000 and 1 Million for the year of 2040, centenarians still represent an understudied and underserved population. Specifically, very little is known about what characterizes life at age 100, and what makes life at that age worth living. The Fordham Centenarian Study aims at closing this research gap.
Study Goals
  1. To describe how life is at age 100 and depicting a realistic picture of very old age.
  2. To show the challenges but also the potentials of very old age.
  3. To identify the characteristics of the person as well as of the living conditions and environment which contribute to well-being and aging well in very old age.

A higher order goal of the study is it to create a more positive view on very old age, by showing that very old individuals have specific strengths that allow them to deal well with the difficulties they encounter in everyday life. Given that many centenarians find their life worth living despite the limitations they face, the study also wants to show ways by which individuals can reach a positive old age. Cultivating such skills over the life span may be beneficial for younger generations. Furthermore, not only person factors but also societal and cultural factors may play a role for how well individuals age. The Fordham Centenarian Study is embedded in a network of centenarian studies that use parallel assessment which will allow to compare centenarians and their living conditions across countries such as the US, Germany, and Portugal. This will enable us to determine how cultural aspects such as attitudes towards the elderly and societal differences such as in health care systems determine the life and well-being in very old age.

The Fordham Centenarian Study is funded by the Brookdale Foundation as well as Fordham University.

The study has its home at the Fordham Adult Development and Aging Lab headed by Dr. Daniela Jopp at the Fordham University’s Psychology Department. So far, we had the pleasure to talk to over 90 individuals aged 95 and older.

We are still looking for individuals aged 100 years and older who are willing to participate. If you live in NYC and are interested to participate or if you want to nominate a centenarian relative or friend for participation, please contact us at (718) 817 0463 or

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