Office for National Statistics article: Living Longer – How Our Population is Changing and Why it Matters

In 50 years’ time, there are likely to be an additional 8.6 million people aged 65 years and over – a population roughly the size of London.

This is according to an August 2018 article by the Office for National Statistics on the UK’s ageing population.

The ageing population is caused by longer life expectancy and lower birth rates. The article looks at the causes, implications and policy responses of the changing structure of the population.

The article states that ageing is a cross-cutting issue with multiple economic, public service and societal impacts, for example, on pensions, social care, housing and well-being.

It includes analyses of work, income, public spending, health and social care services, being connected, the individual and society.

Key findings include:

  • Rural areas have seen larger increases in average age than urban areas and there will be an increase in the ratio of older to younger people, particularly in rural areas.
  • Immigration is often assumed to offset the effects of a country’s ageing population. However, this only presents a short-term solution.
  • Older people have higher income satisfaction and report finding it easier to get by financially than younger people.
  • At the macro-economic level, pensions are already the largest item of welfare expenditure in 2016.
  • Real-terms social care spending remains around 1% lower than 10 years ago.
  • Ratings of personal well-being are lowest around mid-life but then start to rise around ages 60 to 64 years

Read the article in full.