Jun 02, 2014 01:25 AM EDT | Katie Collom

Nantong, a city located in China’s east Jiangsu Province, was named the “Capital of Longevity” on Wednesday thanks to the large number of centenarians residing within the metropolis.

The city was granted the title by the International Nature and Medicine Association (INMA) and is the first city in the world to receive the honor.

Nantong has a population of over 7 million and studies showed that around 1,031 were centenarians; meaning that 14 out of every 100,000 people are over 100 years old.

Morishita Keiichi, president of the INMA, stated that Nantong has hundreds of thousands of residents who are expected to reach and surpass the 100 year age mark – making the area a prime candidate for the title of “Capital of Longevity”.

Areas in China which boast longevity and high numbers of centenarians are blooming all over the nation and in recent years authorities have triumphantly touted their records in hopes that the recognition will draw tourists to the regions and prompt economic growth.

In total, the Chinese government has recognized over 40 longevity counties – all of which have experienced large influxes of tourists ever since being credited with being the cradles of long life.

Bama, a city in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, is to date the most visited longevity county in China and has spawned legends of elixirs from the area which provide pilgrims with extended life.

However, high longevity also has its dark side as officials state that with a growing number of elderly people, the state’s social security system will struggle to keep up, preventing the aging from being able to enjoy good economic status in their later years.

Large influxes of crowds into longevity counties also has adverse effects as pollution levels rise and many of those making the pilgrimage are ill and doing so in hopes that these visits will extend their lives.

Chen Jinchao, the head of the Guangxi Bama Longevity Research Institute, stated that people need to develop an understanding of how to keep oneself healthy, instead of placing hope in trips to China’s already overcrowded longevity regions.