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Ageing and older population UK statistics for 2022

9th July 2022

 

Interested in learning more about the state of the UK’s ageing population and how British society is taking care of its older demographics? Here you will find a host of fascinating statistics regarding ageing and older people in 2022.

From providing proper support for carers and installing mobility aids like a stairlift for older people, to ensuring that those in retirement are getting the best out of life, the data can shine a light on what needs to be done.

This informative hub of key ageing population statistics covers everything from the current life expectancy to the latest data about pensioner poverty, renting, and employment.  So read on and find some valuable facts and stats about older age in the UK.  

Ageing population statistics, UK 2022

There are almost 11 million people aged 65 and over

According to the annual State of Ageing report by the Centre for Better Ageing, there are almost 11 million people aged 65 and over in the UK. This equates to around 19% of the UK population. Estimates suggest that in ten years this figure will increase to around 22% of the population being aged 65 or over, or almost 13 million people.

2.1 million pensioners are in poverty

In the UK, there are around 2.1 million pensioners living in poverty. This pensioner poverty statistic is according to the UK Poverty Report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF). 2.1 million equates to 18% of pensioners living in poverty, struggling to make ends meet during the later years of life.

The poverty rate for pensioners is sadly increasing, as JRF reports: “After the pensioner poverty rate fell dramatically from around 28% and 29% in the mid to late 1990s to 13% in 2012/13 (driven by increasing income from private pensions and increases in benefits), it has edged up ever since and now stands at 18% in the latest data.”

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Life expectancy has changed slightly for males and females

According to the latest census (2021), life expectancy at birth for UK females is 82.9 years, which equates to a slight but almost non-existent increase of 0.5 weeks. For males, life expectancy is 79, which is a reduction of seven weeks since 2017.

These figures differ slightly from the Annual State of Ageing report, which has found that life expectancy has reduced by 0.3 years for women and 0.4 years for men.

Life expectancy at 65 years old has increased for females

 

The UK census has found that the life expectancy for people aged 65 years old was 18.5 years for males and 21 years for females. Suggesting that females can expect to live for a few years longer than males once they reach the age of 65. These figures have increased slightly for women and decreased slightly for men.

The number of centenarians is at the highest ever level

The number of centenarians (a person who is 100 years old or more), has reached its highest-ever level, according to the government’s latest annual mid-year population estimates. The number of centenarians is at a high of 15,120 as of 2020, which is an increase of almost a fifth from the year before. This was driven by a 52% increase in those aged 100 over the previous year. The report suggests that the increase is “a result of birth patterns one hundred years ago when there was a spike in births following World War One.”

There are twice as many women aged 90 years and over as men

According to the latest annual mid-year population estimates, there are twice as many women aged 90 and over compared to men. However, the gap is decreasing, having continued to narrow over the last 30 years. The population of 90-plus-year-olds is continuing to grow but the rate is slowing, only increasing by 0.7% since 2019, a significant reduction compared to the 3.6% increase in the previous year.

The number of years without a disabling health condition is declining

 

Men can expect to live for 62.4 years in good health, without a disabling health condition, a number which has continued to fall over recent years (Centre for Ageing Better). This number is lower for women; they can expect to live for 60.9 years without a disabling health condition - a figure which has continued to fall over the last decade (a decline of four years since 2008/10).

READ ALSO: Disabled grants available in the UK

Employment rates for those approaching retirement lowest since 2016

The pandemic has reversed the fortunes of those approaching retirement when it comes to employment (Centre for Ageing Better). For those near retirement age, employment rates are at the lowest since 2016, and the number of people aged 50-64 who are not employed or not looking for work has risen by 1.8% (228,000) since the pandemic began.

The employment rate gap between older and younger people was narrowing before the pandemic but it is now wider than it was pre-pandemic – indicating work needs to be done to help with fighting unemployment for those nearing retirement age.

READ ALSO: How to make retirement feel luxurious

The number of older renters is at an all-time high

The number of older people in the UK renting privately (55 years and over) is at an all-time high (Centre for Ageing Better). In 2003/4, the number of older private renters was 366,000. This number has more than doubled to 867,000. These figures suggest that house prices and home ownership difficulties are not only impacting younger people but also those of older age.

The Centre for Better Ageing comments that private renting has serious implications for the health of older renters: “Private rentals are also the most likely to fail the government’s own standard of a ‘decent home’, almost a quarter of such homes are non-decent. There is a strong association between the condition of our homes and our health, with cold and damp causing and exacerbating conditions such as respiratory and cardiovascular disease.”

Households headed by someone aged 85 or over are increasing

The ageing population has had an impact on the number of households headed (the most responsible adult) by someone aged 85 or over, according to a government report on the Future of an Ageing Population. There are projected to be 1.42 million more households headed by someone over 85 by 2037, which is an increase of 161% over 25 years.

40% of 55 to 64-year-olds have undertaken no formal training or education since leaving school

According to the government’s Future of an Ageing Population report, despite lifelong learning being found to have benefits for physical and mental health, 40% of 55 to 64-year-olds have undertaken no formal training or education since leaving school. It has also been found that older workers are less likely to receive workplace training than younger workers.

READ ALSO: Expand your horizons: how to keep learning in older age

73% of disabled people over 65 receive care from a spouse or family

 

It has been found (Future of an Ageing Population) that the vast majority of disabled people (73%) are receiving at least some care from a spouse or member of their family. Further, between 2007 and 2032, “the

number of people aged 65 and over who require unpaid care is projected to have grown by more than one million.” Providing support for older carers, as well as equipment and facilities for older disabled people, have, as a result, never been more important.

READ ALSO: How to know if a loved one needs help at home

33.4% of those eligible received an NHS Health Check

The NHS Health Check is a health check-up for adults in England aged 40 to 74, designed to spot early signs of stroke, kidney disease, heart disease, type 2 diabetes or dementia. However, according to the government’s Productive Healthy Ageing Profile, only 33.4% of those eligible received an NHS Health Check even though 71.8% were offered one. Of those offered a health check, 46.5% received one.

Breast and cervical cancer screening coverage is getting worse

The cancer screening coverage for breast cancer is at 64.1% as of 2021, which is ‘decreasing or getting worse’ in England compared to the previous period (down 10% on the previous year) according to the Productive Healthy Ageing Profile. Females are invited for a breast screening every 3 years between 50 and 71.

Cervical cancer screening coverage, for those aged 50 and 64, is at 74.7% as of 2021, which is also identified as ‘decreasing or getting worse’ – it is down 4% since 2010.

Facts and stats about ageing and pensioners in the UK 

  • There are almost 11 million people aged 65 and over
  • 2.1 million pensioners are in poverty
  • Life expectancy has changed slightly for males and females
  • Life expectancy at 65 years old has increased for females
  • The number of centenarians is at the highest ever level
  • There are twice as many women aged 90 years and over as men
  • The number of years without a disabling health condition is declining
  • Employment rates for those approaching retirement is the lowest since 2016
  • The number of older renters is at an all-time high
  • Households headed by someone aged 85 or over are increasing
  • 40% of 55 to 64-year-olds have undertaken no formal training or education since leaving school
  • 73% of disabled people over 65 receive care from a spouse or family
  • 33.4% of those eligible received an NHS Health Check
  • Breast and cervical cancer screening coverage is getting worse

The statistics above provide valuable insight into the UK’s older demographics. With stats speaking to an increasingly ageing population and that people are living for fewer years before having a disabling health condition, it’s more important than ever that there is an increased focus on older people, giving them the love and support they deserve while cherishing all they do for society.

If you or a loved one is struggling to retain independence at home due to limited mobility, looking into stairlift prices and walk in showers might make the difference and help you stay in your home for longer.

READ ALSO: How accessible is the UK?

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This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.