VEGA News Item

Here’s To 2011 and Healthy Old Age - 06/01/2011

More than 10 Million People in the UK who are Currently Alive are Expected to Live to More than 100 According to Predictions from the Dept. for Work and Pensions

1.  More than 10 million people in the UK who are currently alive are expected to live to more than 100 according to predictions from the Dept. for Work and Pensions.  The steep rise in the next 70 years, with 17% of the UK’s current 62 million residents reaching that landmark age.  Three million of these are currently under 16, while 5.5 million are between 16 and 50 and 1.3 million are between 51 and 65.  A further 875,000 of the projected population of centenarians are already over 65.

2.  The DWP reckons that by 2080 there could be about 627,000 people in the UK aged 100 or more, 21,000 of whom would be at least 110.  This is more than 53 times greater than the current number of centenarians (11,800).  At present there are fewer than 100 people who are older than 110.

3.  The number of people aged over 100 is expected to nearly double between 2030 and 2035, when there are expected to be 97,300 centenarians.  It is then expected to more than double again during the next decade, at 202,100 by 2045.

4.  Increasing longevity is likely to put pressure on pensions systems.  The pensions minister, Steve Webb, has said: “These staggering figures really bring home how important it is to plan ahead for our later lives or more in retirement.  That’s why we are reforming the pension system to make it sustainable for the long term.”

5.  Predicting the demographic consequences of global warming and lifestyle is tricky: perhaps there will be migrations of populations to sunnier climes or at least for part of the year.  Perhaps populations originating in Africa, India, China and South America will come here to train and then go home where they could find employment more easily.  Perhaps ergonomic changes will spare many people the chores of menial jobs, especially if standards of education rise.  Charities will live in more testing conditions and quality adjustments for life years will extend the durability of the human body and prolonged years of emptiness in afflictions such as Alzheimer’s.  However, the portents for vitality and joy in the generations appear good for longer lives of vigour and health, with reduced scourges of degenerative diseases.


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