Law and Society Blog

Michel Poulain and Anne Herm initiated the concept of Longevity Blue Zones already 24 years ago

Senior researcher Michel Poulain and researcher Anne Herm at the Estonian Institute for Population Studies (EDK) initiated the concept of Longevity Blue Zones already 24 years ago. Here are the regions of the world where people are living longer and in better health: Okinawa in Japan, Sardinia in Italy, Nicoya in Costa Rica and Ikaria in Greece.

Blue Zone

In 2023, they validated the French department of Martinique as being the 5th Blue Zone. On May 13, they presented their last findings in the annual meeting of the International Centenarian Consortium in Texel (The Netherlands), a meeting that was attended by researchers from the US, Japan, South Korea, Denmark, Sweden, Italy, Belgium and Estonia.

On May 23, Michel Poulain delivered a public talk at the university of Poznan with the title ‘How to become a centenarian?’ and on May 25, he was involved as speaker in the International Congress of Gerontology and Geriatrics in Santiago de Compostela (Galicia, Spain). The week after was devoted to field work with the responsible of the Government of Galicia and 11 municipalities in order to identify and validate a 6th Blue Zone in Galicia.


During the work session, main points discussed were on the policy implication of the planned research on exceptional longevity in an ageing society with a specific accent on prevention to ensure healthy ageing. It has been the opportunity to meet Alfonso aged 106. Despite a poor vision and a hearing problem, his mental health and cognitive behaviour are intact.  The launch of this interesting initiative involving demographers and researchers in human science is a major step for policy support in public health and well-being of a growing number of older people.