Authored by: Rachael E. Docking , Jennifer Stock

International Handbook of Positive Aging

Print publication date:  June  2017
Online publication date:  July  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138933057
eBook ISBN: 9781315678757
Adobe ISBN:


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We are anticipating a major shift in the demographic in the United Kingdom over the next 20–30 years. Over the past century there has been a significant increase in life expectancy and it is estimated that by 2031 the proportion of people aged >65 years in the United Kingdom will have increased from 16 to 22 per cent, exceeding the population <25 years of age (Greengross et al., 1997). For the first time in history, people aged >60 years now outnumber those aged <16 years in developed countries (Office of National Statistics, 2010). The latest projections are for 5½ million additional older people in 20 years’ time and the number will have nearly doubled to around 19 million by 2050. There are currently three million people aged more than 80 years and this is projected to almost double by 2030 and reach eight million by 2050. The pensioner population is expected to rise despite the increase in the women’s state pension age to 65 between 2010 and 2020 and the increase for both men and women from 65 to 68 between 2024 and 2046. In 2008 there were 3.2 people of working age for every person of pensionable age. This ratio is projected to fall to 2.8 by 2033.

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