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Demographic futures

By Professor Pat Thane FBA

This report discusses the issue of the ageing population in the UK and suggests that policymakers need to recognise the diversity of older groups and to plan more positively in integrating older people into work and social life.

With constant discussion of how the UK population is ageing, many people have come to see older people as a burden on society. It is often assumed that the main option available to combat increasing pension and NHS costs is to raise the state pension age.

In this report, Pat Thane FBA argues that there are alternatives available, which are informed by a better understanding of the older demographic. Through summarising the relevant evidence around such factors as life expectancy, fertility, migration and older people’s activity, this report demonstrates not only the huge diversity in terms of health and lifestyle that exists amongst those over 60, but also the many kinds of contributions this age group are making to society.

Publication part of

New paradigms in public policy

This project reviews some particularly difficult issues in public policy and makes suggestions as to why and how concepts should be adapted, reformed or reinvented.

Policy and research

The British Academy’s policy and research work is dedicated to applying that insight to policy issues for public benefit and societal wellbeing.