Graying in Rural England

Article excerpt

The English countryside is experiencing an elder boom. By 2028, the number of people over age 50 will increase by 47% in rural areas, compared with 30% in other parts of the country, and the number of rural residents over age 85 is predicted to triple. This rapid growth will create challenges for social and governmental services, warn researchers from the University of Newcastle upon Tyne.

Rural aging is due both to the rush of young people into the cities, seeking more work and education opportunities, and to older people moving into the country as they approach retirement. As a result, the average age of a rural resident is now 42, compared with 36 for England's city dwellers, the researchers report.

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Housing in rural England is already inadequate to serve the needs of an aging population, and public services need to be adapted for people who are less mobile, according to the researchers, led by Philip Lowe and Neil Ward of Newcastle's Centre for Rural Economy. …