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Profile America — Monday, September 22nd. The average age of the American population is on a steady climb, and the national median is nearly 37. As people grow older, many tend to become a little vague about their exact age. After about 85, though, they tend to become proud of their longevity. Not too many years ago, someone who had lived to be 100 was a true rarity. Even today, those reaching 100 are contacted by the White House and often the national and local media. Now, generations of good nutrition and medical care are paying off, and the picture has changed. On this National Centenarians Day, there are some 53,000 Americans age 100 or over, almost 83 percent of them women. In 1980, the number was 32,000. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau, online at http://www.census.gov