09 March 2012

Population ageing in the UK and Europe

Population ageing in the UK and Europe

The Office for National Statistics has released data on the ageing population in the UK and the European Union. The report outlines the current percentage of people over the age of 65 and how this is projected to change between now and 2035.

Current population ageing is a result in decrease mortality rate combined with fewer births. This is specifically evidence in the oldest age groups as people are living longer.

Between 2010 and 2035, the percentage of older adults in all four UK countries, England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, are projected to increase, with Wales having a continuous projection of being the most aged population.

The proportion of the UK population aged 65 and over has increased from 15% in 1986 to 17% in 2010, accounting for an increase of 1.7 million people. By 2035 it is predicted this age category will account for over 23% of the UK population. Furthermore, the population of those aged 85 and over, ie, the ‘oldest old’, has increased from 1% in 1985 to 2% in 2010 and has a projected increase to 5% of the total population. This makes the ‘oldest old’ category the fastest growing population in the UK.

Even with these increases of older adults in the UK’s total population, the UK has gone from being one of the most aged countries in Europe to being one of the least aged by 2035.

This increase in the older population combined with living longer has implications for older adults quality of life. There is evidence that any physical activity can provide health benefits for all older adults and that more physical activity provides greater benefits. Active Ageing Events are an ideal way to develop physical activity for older adults in a fun and engaging way. For more information on these Events and how you can become involved visit www.active-ageing-events.org.uk

Download: Office for National Statistics report