The Office for National Statistics has released the first set of numbers from the 2011 Census. Key facts:
- the population of England and Wales rose 3.7 million over the last decade: the biggest rise since national records began in 1801
- the population of Northern Ireland (Northern Ireland Statistics & Research Agency) was up 7%, to reach 1.8 million (numbers for Scotland will be available later in the year)
There are more of us – and we’re getting older:
- 9.2 million people in England and Wales are over the age of 65, up more than 10 per cent in the past decade
Our ageing population will have important implications for how we manage health and social care. According to Age UK, most people using social care services are over the age of 85. Along with the Office of Budget Responsibility’s report on the UK’s financial sustainability, the Census data give us useful anchors for the debate on welfare.