Census 2011: Older people

Census 2011: Older people

  • In 2011, 9.2 million (16 per cent) usual residents of England and Wales were aged 65 and over, an increase of almost one million from 2001 (8.3 million or 16 per cent).
  • 57 per cent (5.3 million) of those aged 65 and over in 2011 were married or in a civil partnership (including those who were separated but still legally married or in a civil partnership); 53 per cent (4.3 million) of those aged 65 and over were married in 2001.
  • The proportion of those aged 65 and over who were divorced almost doubled from 5.2 per cent in 2001 to 8.7 per cent in 2011; this compares with a small rise from 8.2 per cent of the 16 and over population in 2001 to 9.0 per cent in 2011.
  • In 2011, 56 per cent (5.2 million) of those aged 65 and over were living as a couple, an increase from 52 per cent (4.3 million) in 2001. Those living as married couples increased from 51 per cent to 54 per cent and the proportion living as cohabiting couples almost doubled from 1.6 per cent to 2.8 per cent.
  • Just under a third (31 per cent) of those aged 65 and over were living alone in 2011; this was a decrease from 34 per cent in 2001.
  • The proportion of the population aged 65 and over who were living in communal establishments declined from 4.5 per cent (374,000) in 2001 to 3.7 per cent (337,000) in 2011.
  • 9 out of 10 of those aged 65 and over in England and Wales in 2011 were economically inactive, including 86 per cent who were retired; the remaining 10 per cent were economically active.
  • The proportion of the population aged 65-74 who were economically active in 2011 (16 per cent) was almost double the proportion in 2001 (8.7 per cent).
  • Half (50 per cent) of all usual residents in England and Wales aged 65 and over living in households reported very good or good health in 2011; this compared to 88 per cent for those aged under 65.
  • 14 per cent of older people living in households in England and Wales provided unpaid care in 2011, compared to 12 per cent in 2001. The largest increase in proportion was for those aged 65 and over providing 50 hours or more unpaid care a week: up from 4.3 per cent (341,000) in 2001 to 5.6 per cent (497,000) in 2011.

Household Survey

Integrated Household Survey April 2011 to March 2012: ONS

  • 1.5 per cent of adults in the UK identified themselves as Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual
  • 2.7 per cent of 16 to 24 year olds in the UK identified themselves as Gay, Lesbian or Bisexual compared with 0.4 per cent of 65 year olds and over
  • Across the UK, 78 per cent of men and 75 per cent of women reported that they perceived themselves to be ‘in good health’
  • Of the constituent countries of the UK, for the third successive year Wales has reported the lowest rate of perceived good health
  • In the UK, those aged 18 to 24 and who currently smoke are over twice as likely to have reported to be ‘not in good health’ compared with those that have never smoked

Compression of morbidity,

That’s what we’ve got now, apparently. In England and in Wales, the period 2005-07 to 2008-10 broadly reflected a period of compression of morbidity, with people spending longer periods of their longer lives in very good or good health and free from a limiting persistent illness or disability. All this according to the Statistical Bulletin from ONS: Health Expectancies at birth and at age 65 in the United Kingdom, 2008–2010

  • In the UK, males and females can expect to spend more than 80 per cent of their lives in very good or good general health from birth, falling to around 57 per cent at age 65.
  • Males and females in England can expect to spend the longest periods in very good or good general health and free from a limiting persistent illness or disability. The shortest periods are in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • The proportion of life spent in very good or good general health is increasing in England and Wales but, on the whole, falling in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
  • Males are spending a greater proportion of their lives in favourable health compared with females. However, in recent years this gap has narrowed as the health of females has improved more rapidly than for males.

 

Unhealthy behaviours

Clustering of unhealthy behaviours over time: The Kings Fund

  • Close to half of the burden of illness in developed countries is associated with the four main unhealthy behaviours: smoking, excessive consumption of alcohol, poor diet and low levels of physical activity. It is well known that each of these lifestyle risk factors is unequally distributed in the population and that these behaviours are differentially associated with income, educational achievement and social class.
  • The overall proportion of the English population that engages in three or four unhealthy behaviours has declined significantly, from around 33 per cent of the population in 2003, to 25 per cent in 2008.
  • These reductions have been seen mainly among those in higher socio-economic and educational groups: people with no qualifications were more than five times as likely as those with higher education to engage in all four poor behaviours in 2008, compared with only three times as likely in 2003.
  • The health of the overall population will improve as a result of the decline in these behaviours, but the poorest and those with least education will benefit least, leading to widening inequalities and avoidable pressure on the NHS.

National Well-being

First annual Subjective Well-being Annual Population Survey: ONS

  • Three-quarters (75.9 per cent) of people aged 16 and over rated their overall ‘life satisfaction’ as 7 or more. This compares with 80.0 per cent of people who gave a rating of 7 or more when asked whether they felt the things they did in their lives were ‘worthwhile’
  •  When asked about day-to-day emotions, 10.9 per cent of people in the UK rated their ‘happiness yesterday’ as less than 5 out of 10 (indicating lower happiness).
  • Women were more likely to report higher levels of subjective well-being
  • ‘Life satisfaction’ and ‘worthwhile’ ratings differed by age, with people aged 16 to 19 and 65 to 79 reporting, on average, the highest ratings.
  • The ethnic group with the lowest average ‘life satisfaction’ rating was the ‘Black/African/ Caribbean/Black British’ group (6.7 out of 10).
  • Having a partner appears to be related with improved subjective well-being.

National Well-being – Health: ONS

  • Between 1930 and 2010 life expectancy at birth in the UK (that is the length of time that an individual born in a specific year can expect to live) increased by around a third for both sexes from 58.7 to 78.2 years for men and from 63.0 to 82.3 for women
  • Cancer was still the most common cause of death in the UK in 2011, followed by heart disease, diseases of the respiratory system and cerebrovascular diseases, which includes stroke
  • In England in 2007, around one in six adults had a common mental disorder such as anxiety or depression

National Well-being – Where we Live: ONS

  • In October 2011 and February 2012, 84 per cent of adults aged 16 and over in Great Britain reported a medium/high satisfaction (7 to 10 out of 10) with their living accommodation
  • In 2008, adults aged 18 and over in England reported levels of crime (61 per cent), clean streets (45 per cent) and health services (44 per cent) as the most important factors in making somewhere a good place to live
  • In the 12 months to May 2012, UK house prices increased by 2.3 per cent. The average UK mixadjusted house price was £228,000 (not seasonally adjusted).
  • In 2011, 5 per cent of adults aged 18 and over in Great Britain reported feeling a sense of isolation due to difficulties accessing local shops and services

General Lifestyle Survey, 2010

  • Over half (54 per cent) of adults drank alcohol at least once a week
  • Adults aged 45 and over were three times as likely as those aged under 45 to drink almost every day
  • Average weekly alcohol consumption decreased from 14.3 units per adult in 2005 to 11.5 units per adult in 2010
  • One in six adults drank heavily on at least one day in the week before interview
  • Smoking prevalence decreased from 27 per cent in 2000 to 20 per cent in 2010

General Lifestyle Survey, 2010: ONS