Oldest Living People in the United States

10 Oldest Living People in the United States (Updated 2021)

According to several news reports, the current average life expectancy for the United States is 78.7 years – it’s 81.3 years for women and 76.3 years for men. At this time, the entire list features women because women tend to live much longer than men. Everyone on this list is a supercentenarian, which means they are over 110 years old! Nearly all of the super senior citizens on this list have had their ages verified by the Gerontology Research Group, which tracks the world’s oldest people.

As of February 2021, this list is accurate and will be updated as needed.

10. Christine Ireland (January 19, 1908 – Present)

Current Age (as of February 2021): 113, 29 days
Birthplace: Cumberland, North Carolina
Current Location: Burlington, North Carolina
Previous Occupation(s): Teacher and homemaker

Christine Irelandphoto source: Courier-Tribune

Christine Ireland celebrated her 113th birthday in the beginning of 2021 and her age is currently being validated by the Gerontology Research Group. Ireland was born and raised on a farm in North Carolina. She attended high school at a Immanu Lutheran High School in Greensboro and became a teacher in 1931. After Ireland got married, she became a homemaker, raising and educating her children. According to her son, Ireland made sure that all her children could read and write before formally starting school. Today, Ireland lives in a nursing facility in Burlington, North Carolina.

Did You Know?

Christine Ireland’s younger sister is also still alive at the age of 95.

9. Irene Dunham (December 16, 1907 – Present)

Current Age (as of February 2021): 113 years, 2 months, 1 day
Birthplace: Bath, Michigan
Current Location: Lansing, Michigan
Previous Occupation(s): Homemaker

Irene Dunhamphoto source: Gerontology Wiki

Irene Dunham is the second-oldest living person in Michigan, after Ellen Goodwill who is several months older. Dunham celebrated her 113th birthday a few months ago and is believed to be the oldest survivor of the Bath School Bombing, one of the deadliest school tragedies in American history. At the time, Dunham was 19 and in her last years of school. The day of the bombing, she had a sore throat and stayed home, but her and her mother heard the loud noise from town. Several of Dunham’s siblings were at school that day, but thankfully none of them were hurt.

Dunham, who still lives independently and has a very sharp mind, often thinks about the Bath School Bombing, and mourns the 38 children who died that day. Despite the tragedy, Dunham married her husband Laurits not long after the bombing, as the couple were encouraged to still hold their celebration and keep moving forward in life.

Did You Know?

Due to the devastation of the Bath School Bombing, Irene Dunham was never given her diploma. However, 50 years later, Bath High School’s 1977 graduating class invited the 1927 senior class to their ceremony, and Dunham finally received her diploma. 

8. Mila Mangold (November 14, 1907 – Present)

Current Age (as of February 2021): 113 years, 3 month, 3 days
Birthplace: Nebraska
Current Location: El Cerrito, California
Previous Occupation(s): Secretary

Mila Mangoldphoto source: Berkleyside

At 113 years of age, Mila Mangold is currently believed to be the oldest living person in California. However, Mangold is not a California native and was born and raised in Nebraska. During the Great Depression, Mangold moved to Southern California, where she met her husband. The Mangolds moved to Berkeley in the 1940s and had one son, Donald.

Mangold was very active into her early 100s and even drove until she turned 95. According to neighbors, Mangold would often collect oranges that had fallen from her tree and would sometimes make marmalade for them. Since Mangold became a supercentenarian, she has been wheel-chair bound and lives in an assisted living facility.

Did You Know?

Mila Mangold comes from a very long-lived family; her grandmother lived to be 95 and her sister almost reached 101.

7. Bessie Hendricks (November 7, 1907 – Present)

Current Age (as of February 2021): 113 years, 3 months, 10 days
Birthplace:  Carroll County, Iowa
Current Location:  Lake City, Iowa
Previous Occupation(s):  Teacher and Farmer

photo source: The Messenger

Like Ermisna Theodore, Bessie Hendricks turned 112 years old in Fall 2019. At the time of this writing, Hendricks’ age is being reviewed by the Gerontology Research Group. Regardless of the age validation, Hendricks still has a sharp mind and knows that her birth year is 1907.

Hendricks’ family says that she Hendricks never lets stress get to her, which accounts for her long life and good health. Additionally, Hendricks says that hard work also keeps you young and strong.

Did You Know?

Bessie Hendricks and her husband Paul, were one month shy of their 65th anniversary when Paul passed away on May 25, 1995.

6. Ermisna Theodore (September 12, 1907 – Present)

Current Age (as of February 2021): 113 years, 5 months, 5 days
Birthplace:  Haiti
Current Location:  Queens, New York
Previous Occupation(s):  Unspecified

Ermisna Theodorephoto source: MSN

Ermisna Theodore reportedly turned 112 last Fall, but her age is currently unverified by the Gerontology Research Group. However, Theodore’s family says that she was born in Haiti on September 7, 1907. Theodore moved to the United States in 1984 and has remained in the country since then. According to one of Theodore’s granddaughters, Rachel Theodore, the secret to her grandma’s longevity is simply resting.

Did You Know?

Ermisna Theodore’s primary language is Haitian Creole.

5. Maude Harris (August 15, 1907 – Present)

Current Age (as of February 2021): 113 years, 6 months, 2 days
Birthplace: Fertile, Minnesota
Current Location: Hialeah, Florida
Previous Occupation(s): Teacher, assistant librarian, and retail worker

Maude Harrisphoto source: Miami Herald

Maude Harris was born in Fertile, Minnesota in 1907 to a Norwegian-born father and Swedish-born mother. During the Great Depression, Harris was fortunate to find work as a schoolteacher and even taught her youngest sister. As a young adult, while visiting her uncle in Portland, Harris met her future husband Guy Harris and the two had a whirlwind romance. After settling down in Washington for several years, Harris and her husband moved to Florida sometime in the late 1950s and she still lives in the state in a retirement home.

Did You Know?

According to a local news interview from Maude Harris’ 111th birthday, she is still very active and sharp and she enjoys several hobbies including quilting, knitting, reading, and making jewelry.

4. Florence Carroll (June 9, 1907 – Present)

Current Age (as of February 2021): 113 years, 8 months, 8 days
Birthplace: Millerton, New York
Current Location: Salisbury, Connecticut
Previous Occupation(s): Cook and homemaker

Florence Carrollphoto source: Gerontology Wiki

Not much is known about Florence Carroll besides her status as an American supercentenarian. Carroll was born in New York, but moved to Connecticut as a young adult. She worked as a cook for some time before she married John Carroll in 1930. The Carrolls had nine kids and only five are still alive today with their mother.

Did You Know?

The last time that Florence Carroll was interviewed for her 107th birthday in 2014, she had 12 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and three great-great-grandchildren.

3. Ellen Goodwill (February 2, 1907 – Present)

Current Age (as of February 2021): 114 years, 15 days
Birthplace: Paris, Kentucky
Current Location: Battle Creek, Michigan
Previous Occupation(s): Model and shop window dresser

Ellen Goodwillphoto source: Battle Creek Enquirer

Ellen Goodwill very recently turned 113 years old. Goodwill is the second oldest living resident of Michigan after Irene Dutton. Originally from Kentucky, Goodwill moved to Ohio as a young adult to work as a model. After Goodwill married her husband, Augustus Goodwill, in 1947, she moved to Battle Creek, Michigan and has remained there since.

Did You Know?

For Ellen Goodwill’s 113th birthday, her friend Sharon Miller asked people to send Goodwill birthday cards to her home at the Advantage Living Center in Battle Creek.

2. Thelma Sutcliffe (October 1, 1906 – Present)

Current Age (as of February 2021):
Birthplace:  Omaha, Nebraska
Current Location:  Omaha, Nebraska
Previous Occupation(s):  Worked for the War Department in the 1940s

Thelma Sutcliffephoto source: Gerontology Wiki

According to E.A. Kral of Wilber, who keeps track of age records in Nebraska, Thelma Sutcliffe is the 12th oldest person ever in the state’s history. Sutcliffe celebrated her 113th birthday in October at the senior living center in Omaha where she currently resides.

Sutcliffe has spent her entire life in Omaha and got married when she was 17. Her husband died in the 1970s and they never had any children. Sutcliffe’s family has a history of long life, her nephew is 91 and his mother, Sutcliffe’s sister, died at the age of 106.

Did You Know?

Thelma Sutcliffe worked for the War Department in the 1940s during World War II.

1. Hester Ford (August 15, 1905 – Present)

Current Age (as of February 2021): 115 years, 6 months, 2 days
Birthplace: Lancaster County, South Carolina
Current Location: Charlotte, North Carolina
Previous Occupation(s): Farm worker and nanny

Hester Fordphoto source: wbtv.com

Hester Ford believes that she was born in 1905 and that she is currently 114 years old, which makes her the oldest living person in the United States. However, some of her family members recently found census data that shows Ford may have actually been born in 1904. According to the census records from April 28, 1910, Ford is listed as 5, which would mean she was born in 1904.

When Ford was born, birth records weren’t a standard practice, so there’s really no way to know for sure if Ford was born in 1904 or 1905. Beside the newly found census info, Ford’s birthday is listed as 1905. Regardless of her real birth year, Ford is definitely one of the oldest (and most likely the oldest) living people in the country.

Did You Know?

Hester Ford still has an extremely sharp mind and excellent memory, which is demonstrated by the fact that she can recite several Bible verses, including her favorite Psalm 23.


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