December 7, 2008

BUT WHAT IF THE HATED YOUNG MAJORITY DON'T CARE TO PAY FOR THE ELDERLY MINORITY'S LEISURE YEARS?:

Warning on Britain's grey population: Evidence of the challenges posed by the ageing population will be unveiled by Britain's statistics chief this week. (David Barrett, 06 Dec 2008, Daily Telegraph)

Whereas British-born women have only 1.7 children each on average, the figure is 3.9 for Bangladeshi-born women in Britain, and almost five for Pakistani-born women. [...]

The NHS already restricts access to expensive new drugs that could benefit older age groups -- such as sufferers of Alzheimer's and macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness -- amid fears that the costs could cripple the health service.

Miss Dunnell article, to be published on Tuesday, will look at the ethnic breakdown of the ageing population and the way different parts of the UK will be affected. She will also make comparisons with the demographics of other European countries.

Three months ago the ONS revealed that Britain is home to more pensioners than children for the first time in the country's history. There are 11.58 million pensioners - classed as men over 65 and women over 60 - compared with 11.52 million under-16s.

In 1971, a quarter of the nation was under 16, while 15 per cent were of pensionable age.

The number of over-80s has almost doubled to 2.7 million over the past 30 years. They are the fastest-growing age group as a result of medical advances, and their number is expected to continue rising dramatically.

The state retirement age is to increase to 68 for men and women by 2050, but the sharp rise in the elderly population is likely to lead to calls for the retirement age to be raised still further.

Britain's population profile is ageing despite record immigration and the rise in the number of immigrant women having children. According to the ONS a record number of immigrants settled in the UK last year. Around one in 10 of the population was born abroad, 6.3 million people in all.

Posted by Orrin Judd at December 7, 2008 9:10 AM
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