10.12.10

Other Nations Overtake UK in the Ageing Stakes

Although the UK has an ageing population, it is not ageing as rapidly as countries like Germany and Japan.

According to the latest issue of Population Trends from the Office for National Statistics’, in 2009, the proportion of the UK population over 65 was 16 per cent. This was a slight increase since 1985, when the figure was 15 per cent. In 1985 the UK had one of the most aged populations in Europe, but by 2009 this was no longer the case.

In both Germany and Italy, the European countries with the most aged populations in 2009, the proportion of the population over 65 was 20 per cent. Japan was the world’s most aged country in 2008, with 22 per cent of the population aged over 65.

Life expectancy in the UK is increasing in line with other western nations, but with the UK having relatively high fertility levels compared with many European countries, the increase in the proportion of the population over 65 has been slower than in countries with lower fertility rates. This trend may continue into the future, says Jill Matheson, the UK’s National Statistician.

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