Assisted Living UK Capabilities
Opportunity Report

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Regional Overview

Population over 85 years

While the most recent analysis showed that the number of people in the UK aged over 80 to be at 2.6 million, by 2030 the figure is likely to jump to 4.8 million – and one in five will need regular care. Kirkwood’s team, at the world- leading Biomedical Research Centre in Ageing at Newcastle University, estimates that this will lead to an 82% increase in the demand for places in care homes, with an additional 630,000 older people needing accommodation.

Population over 65 years

The ageing UK population in the period 1985 to 2010, the percentage of the population aged 65 and over increased from 15% to 17%, an increase of 1.7 million people (Figure). Not only is the population ageing, but there has been an increase in the number and proportion of those aged 85 and over. In 1985, there were around 690,000 people in the UK aged 85 and over (1% of the population). By 2010, the numbers have more than doubled reaching 1.4 million, (2% of the UK population). By 2035 the number of people aged 85 and over is projected to be 2.5 times larger than in 2010, reaching approximately 3.6 million and accounting for 5% of the total population.

population by region 2010

Figure UK Regional Population – mid 2010 (Source ONS)

Recent Age UK Report: Later Life in the United Kingdom (Nov 2012)

UK Population

  • Each year, about 650,000 people turn 65
  • There are now more people in the UK aged 60 and above than there are under 18
    There are over 12 million people of state pension age (currently 60 for women and 65 for men), almost 1 in 5 of the UK’s total population
  • For the first time in history, there are now over 14 million people in the UK aged 60 and above
  • Over 1.4 million people are aged 85 or over

Population projections

  • The number of people aged 60 or over is expected to pass the 20 million mark by 2031
  • The number of people aged 65 + is projected to rise by nearly 50% (48.7%) in the next 20 years to over 16 million
  • The proportion of people aged 65+ will rise from 17.2% currently to 22.4% in 2032
  • By 2083, about one in three people in the UK will be over 60
  • The number of people over 85 in the UK is predicted to double in the next 20 years and nearly treble in the next 30
  • Nearly one in five people currently in the UK will live to see their 100th birthday (see section on life expectancy below)


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