New figures on the ageing population

September 28, 2017

The Office of National Statistics has published new figures on the ageing population showing life expectancy at 65 has slightly increased as has the number of people over 90.

Two new statistical bulletins from the Office of National Statistics look at life expectancy and the population aged 90 and over. The key findings include:

  • In 2014 to 2016, a man in the UK aged 65 had an average further 18.5 years of life remaining and a woman 20.9 years.
  • A male born in 2014 to 2016 had a 21% chance, and a female a 32% chance, of surviving to at least age 90.
  • Life expectancy at age 65 in the UK has slightly increased.
  • A man aged 65 in 2014 to 2016 could expect to live to age 83.5 and a woman to 85.9. For males, this was a slight increase of 4.7 weeks, and for females an increase of 3.6 weeks, from 2013 to 2015.
  • Life expectancy at age 65 remained highest in England and lowest in Scotland.
  • The rate of increase in life expectancy at age 65 has slowed.
  • The gap between male and female life expectancy has remained the same at 2.4 years.
  • Life expectancy at age 90 has remained unchanged.
  • The population aged 90 and over has grown more rapidly than most younger ages in recent years, but it remains a small part of the total UK population.
  • Historical birth patterns which resulted in rapid ageing and growth of the population aged 90 and over in recent years have now largely played out, and ageing and growth have returned to a longer-term average.
  • The proportion of men in the population aged 90 and over continues to rise.
  • An estimated 14,910 people were aged 100 and over (centenarians) in the UK in 2016, or 2 for every 10,000 people; this is a rise from 14,520 in 2015.

Commenting on the publication of ONS National life tables UK: 2014 to 2016 and Estimates of the Very Old (including Centenarians): 2002 to 2016, Janet Morrison, Chief Executive of Independent Age said, 'These figures show a remarkable rise in the number of people aged 100 or over. We should certainly celebrate the fact that there are now more than 14,500 centenarians living in the UK, with huge advances in public health and medicine to thank for this growth. But it is less obvious what is driving the recent slowdown in life expectancy. If trends continue, and growth in life expectancy continues to tail off, we could be looking at the very serious problem of shortening life spans.'

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