The elderly population in the UK has reached a record high. Figures have shown that the number of adults aged 100-years-old has increased by a massive 52 per cent. This naturally puts a bigger burden on those who need care, whether it’s care at home, or whether they need to find a care home to support their needs. Here, we take a look at the numbers in more depth.
In 2020, the number of adults in the UK aged 100-years-old and over reached a record high of 15,120, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS). It is believed that this is an increase of around one-fifth in comparison to 2019. The 18 per cent increase was driven by a huge boost in the number of 100-year-olds specifically, which increased by 52 per cent, from 4,980 in 2019 to 7,590 in 2020.
What’s behind the numbers
One of the reasons for this is because of the sharp 45 per cent increase in the number of births that happened in the year after WW1, i.e. between 1919 and 1920, which was compounded by improvements in quality of life and healthcare. Throughout the United Kingdom, Wales has the highest proportion of both female and male centenarians. In Wales, there are 25 people aged 100 and over per every 100,000 of the population. This is in comparison to 18 per 100,000 in Northern Ireland and Scotland, as well as 23 per 100,000 in England.
In 2020, the population’s growth rate for those aged 90-years-old and above slowed down in comparison to previous years. For example, from 2019, it increased by just 0.7 per cent, in comparison with the 3.6 per cent increase from the year before. Experts believe that one of the reasons why there may have been a slow down in the growth is because of Covid-19, as the data covers the mid-part of the year all the way through until the 30th of June 2020, which includes the pandemic’s very early months. It was in April 2022 that the peak in the number of Covid-related deaths occurred. During this time, the highest mortality rate for coronavirus was those aged 90-years-old and above.
Angela Storey, of the Centre for Ageing and Demography at the ONS, has spoken on the issue, stating that the increase in the population aged 90-years-old and above slowed during the year prior to mid-2020, there has been a big increase in the number of people aged 100-years-old and higher. She stated the growth decline in those over 90-years-old was likely due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
When compared with the previous year, centenarians have increased by almost one-fifth. This has been driven by people who were born after World War One’s birth spike now turning 100-years-old. Of course, we must also cite living standards and public health improving over the past century as well.
Growing demand for better care services
As the population gets older, the demands on the elderly care market increase considerably. More and more people prefer to receive care in the comfort of their own homes if they need assistance as they get older, according to the 2021 “Better At Home” Report from the Live-In Care Hub. Either way it is important to receive the care and assistance required so you can live the best quality of life for as long as possible.
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