Office for National Statistics. Voices of our ageing population: living longer lives. 2022. (accessed 16 February 2023)

Our ageing population: How ageing affects health and care need in England. 2021. (accessed 16 February 2023)

United Nations Department of Social Affairs. Leaving no one behind in an ageing world. World Social Report 2023. 2023. (accessed 16 February 2023)

An ageing population

23 February 2023
Volume 32 · Issue 4

In England and Wales, the population continues to age. The 2021 Census results confirm there are more people than ever before in older age groups – over 11 million people, 18.6% of the total population, aged 65 years or older, compared with 16.4% at the time of the previous Census in 2011. This included over half a million (527 900) people who were at least 90 years of age (Office for National Statistics, 2022).

Living longer is something that should be celebrated as our ageing population brings with it opportunities, as well as consequences for the economy, services and society. Older people make valuable contributions to societies and the economy, for example, through continued employment, providing informal caregiving for grandchildren, parents and other relatives and volunteering. Ageing touches all parts of economies and societies, from health care and education to employment and taxation (United Nations Department of Social Affairs (UN DESA), 2023).

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