Magazine article Public Finance

Numbers Game

Magazine article Public Finance

Numbers Game

Article excerpt

It is common knowledge that people are living longer and that the demographics of the nation are set to skew towards senior citizens.

Figures collated by charity Age UK paint the current picture. Estimates suggest that more than 11 million people in the UK are aged 65 or over, and three million have seen their 80th birthday. Almost 23 million people, or over a third of the population, are aged 50 or more. People aged 60-plus outnumber those 18 or under, and there are more pensioners than children under 16.

Figures from the Office for National Statistics, extrapolated from the 2011 census, predict that the proportion of citizens aged between 16 and the state retirement age will peak at 62.8% in 2020, before slipping towards 60% a couple of decades later.

The old-age support ratio - or the number of people of working age compared to the total in retirement - will peak in the same year at 3.5 to 1. Thereafter, over the following couple of decades, the ratio is set to fall consistently, reaching as low as 2. …

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