History

Dan Buettner is a National Geographic Fellow and multiple New York Times bestselling author. He has discovered five places in the world ­– dubbed “Blue Zones” – where people live the longest, and are healthiest: Okinawa, Japan; Sardinia, Italy; Nicoya, Costa Rica; Ikaria, Greece, and Loma Linda, California.

The concept of “Blue Zones” grew out of the demographic work done by Gianni Pes and Michel Poulain outlined the Journal of Experimental Gerontology, identifying Sardinia as the region of the world with the highest concentration of male centenarians. Pes and Poulain drew concentric blue circles on the map highlighting these villages of extreme longevity and began to refer to this area inside the circle as the “Blue Zone.” Building on that demographic work, Dan applied the “Blue Zone” term to longevity hotspots around the world. Blue Zones® is now a trademark of Blue Zones, LLC that reflects the lifestyle and the environment of the world’s longest-lived people.

Ultimately, Dan and the team of demographers and researchers found that all “Blue Zones” share nine specific traits that we call the Power 9®.

Dan’s adventure – and all that he learned – is chronicled in his book “The Blue Zones,” as well as the follow-up “The Blue Zones Solution. The books became New York Times best-sellers and drew worldwide media attention. A subsequent best-seller, “Thrive,” takes a Blue Zones approach to solve another mystery: Why are the world’s happiest places the happiest?

Blue Zones is now dedicated to creating healthy communities across the United States. The first effort, in Albert Lea, Minnesota, was a “stunning” success (learn more about our approach and other Blue Zones Projects).