Oldest person in the world keeps dying

Jun 11, 2015

Gertrude Weaver, 116 years old, was the oldest person in the world for five days before she passed. These short tenures have grown more common in recent years. David Goldenberger for FiveThirtyEight looks at the tenure of previous record holders.

Weaver’s five-day run as the oldest person in the world was short, but it turns out that the oldest person in the world never holds that title for very long. Since records started being kept in the 1950s, the average tenure has been just around a year, according to the Gerontology Research Group; it has dipped to just seven months since the year 2000. Weaver’s incumbency isn’t the shortest in recent years; North Carolina’s Emma Tillman died four days after becoming the world’s oldest person in 2007.

Dang, Jeanne Calment.

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