Population aged 85 and over ‘growing by 900 every year’

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Tuesday, October 3rd, 2017

The number of people aged 85 and over in Northern Ireland has grown by around 900 people per annum throughout the decade ending mid-2016.

This is one of the findings of the statistics published by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).



Over the course of the decade in question, the population aged 85 and over has reached 36,500, representing 2% of the population.

The rate of growth among this age group is almost six times that of those under 85 years of age (34.8% and 6.4% respectively).

While women account for two thirds (66.8%) of those aged 85 and over, the population increase among males over the decade has been noticeably higher than that among females (52% and 27.7% respectively).



The estimates also suggest that there were 278 centenarians (that is those aged 100 and over) in mid-2016, the vast majority of whom (86.7%) were female.

At Local Government District level, the proportion of people aged 85 and over in mid-2016 ranged from 1.4% (2,100 people) in Derry & Strabane to 2.4% (3,900 people) in Ards & North Down.

At a UK level Northern Ireland continues to have the lowest proportion of people aged 85 and over (2%). However, over the decade ending mid-2016 the percentage growth here among this age group (34.8%) was noticeably higher than in each of England (27.7%), Scotland (26.8%) and Wales (22.4%).



Growth in the population aged 85 and over is the result of more people ‘ageing into’ the 85 and over age group than are leaving it each year as a result of dying. At these ages, the impact of migration is negligible.

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