We all know that there are more and more people each year living on our island. The British population has surpassed 50 million adults for the first time. A quick analysis of some data from JICPOPS comparing GB population estimates between now and ten years ago yields some more interesting nuggets.
The 50m figure represents a growth of 7% over the last ten years. But dig a little deeper and some variations appear. Since a decade ago, we have seen a 13% growth in 15-24 year olds, but a 4% decline in those aged 25-44. It was speculated when the last Census was published that the latter decline has been driven in part by emigration, particularly of men.
There has been no change in the national statistic that there are slightly more women (51%) than men (49%). However, among 15 to 34 year olds this profile is reversed. Looking at the other end of the age spectrum, one in five (20%) of the population is aged 65+, which is an increase of 13% since 2001. This growth is being driven by men (+20%) who now comprise 44% of the 65+ age group.
It has been well reported that we are getting older as a nation.
Gretel Jones from Age UK recently remarked at a conference:
“For the first time there are now more people aged 65 than under 16 in the UK and the growth is estimated to continue for the foreseeable future. It’s not just a UK phenomenon. The European Union estimate that the 65+ market will grow by 42% between 2010 and 2030, while your 15 to 64 market will fall by 4%.”
Is the media industry taking heed? If we look at all the new gadgets and devices entering the market, I’m personally not so sure. This is a generation that certainly consumes media. For example, they both listen to the radio and read newspapers for longer compared with the rest of the population.
As I covered in another Light Bite, we are also getting more affluent. Perhaps the older generation have more time and money to spend than ever before? If my parents are anything to go by, then this is certainly the case – they regularly go ski-ing (Spending Kids’ Inheritance)!