Facts on ageing

What impact will ageing have, not only on our lives, our families and communities, but on the voluntary sector? Understanding exactly what demographic changes are taking place and the implications of these for charities, social enterprises and other voluntary organisations has been one of the key tasks of the Commission.

Below are some quick facts about the changing face of our society. For the full picture, see ILC-UK’s key facts.

For a visual summary, download these infographics looking at the voluntary sector today and the population of tomorrow.

Our society is ageing and we’re living longer

  • the number of people aged 85 is expected to more than double by 2035, from 1.4m in 2010 to 3.5m in 2035;
  • around one third of babies born in 2012 in the UK are expected to live long enough to celebrate their 100th birthday; and
  • the median age today in England and Wales is 39; in 1911, it was 25.

Our health and care needs are changing

  • increasingly life is lived in ill-health, even more so for lower social classes;
  • three in five people will be carers at some point in their lives, with the vast majority of care provided by family, friends and relatives; and
  • coronary heart disease and stroke are the leading causes of death for men and women aged 65+ in England and Wales.

We’re working longer and more of us are drawing pensions

  • in mid-2013 there were over 1 million workers over the age of 65 in the UK, the highest number since records began;
  • the level of self-employment in the 50+ groups is much higher than for other age groups and successful start-up entrepreneurs are more likely to be older; and
  • by 2035 there are projected to be 15.6 million people of state pension age, compared to 12.2 million today.

Our lifestyles are changing too

  • over 3.4 million 65+ year-olds live alone, representing 44 % of the total population living alone in the UK in 2011;
  • more than half (54%) of 70 year-olds now hold a driving license in Great Britain, compared to 15% in 1985; and
  • 28% of households of 75+year olds have internet access at home, compared to 56% of 65-74 year olds and 85% of households below pension age.

For more stats and sources please visit ILC-UK.