Recently, while researching the census statistics accompanying an editorial in the spring issue of Sourdough Chronicle (, I was astonished to learn that the Yukon Territory currently is without a card-carrying centenarian, male or female, according to the most recent age data on record which is the 2016 census.

This doesn’t seem possible in a place where white-bearded men and blue-haired women appeared to be everywhere during 2018 Sourdough Rendezvous. Yet, here is the “proof:”

Yukon Population By Age: 2016 Census
80-84 years 375
85-89 years 195
90-94 years 80
95-99 years 20
100+. 0

This disturbing knowledge sent us on a surfing trip to try to figure out why. Could the culprit be our harsh and demanding winter climate? So we checked out our American trumpsters to the west, also using 2016 census numbers:

AK pop: 741,894
Centenarians: 83
The oldest and coldest being Fern Elam, of Kenai, who was 105 in 2016.)

YT pop : 35,875
Centenarians: 0

Here are the national numbers of centenarians:

USA – 53,364
CAN – 7,569

And more numbers for comparison purposes with the percentages of population who are over

Japan – 61,000 (.048%)
France – 21,393 (.032%)
Germany – 17,000 (.021%)
Spain – 16,459 (.032%)
U.K. – 13,780 (.021%)
Australia – 4,252 (.018%)

According to the numbers from Alaska, which has an identical climate, similar eating habits, more money and better beer, the Yukon should currently have five centenarians in our midst but, alas, we do not.

The financial news and opinion website, which provides analysis and commentary for global equity investors, opines thusly: “There are a number of reasons to believe that the count of centenarians by country is inexact. The first is that census data collection is uneven and therefore cannot be reliably compared between countries. There is also some amount of research that shows that people will exaggerate their age as much as they do their incomes and the frequency with which they have sex. People over 100 receive much attention, which is a good reason for people who are in their late 90s to lie.”

Could it REALLY be that simple? Are venerable and vintage Yukoners just too honest and honorable to lie about their age?Frankly, we don’t believe the whole scenario and feel certain there must be several centenarians hiding in the bushes out there somewhere. If so, please identify yourselves to What’s Up Yukon, so we can wrap some facts around this inexplicable mythology. We’ll even publish a story about you, increase your senior discount to 25 per cent and renew your pot prescription.

(Ed. Note: Well, we might write a story.)