demography ageing life expectancy Northern Ireland
Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland
McCrory, Gillian; O'Neill, Naomi; Ijpelaar, Jos; Marshall, David. 'The demography of ageing and future policy impacts: a Northern Ireland perspective'. - Dublin: Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland, Vol.40, 2011, pp197-223
Journal of the Statistical and Social Inquiry Society of Ireland; Vol. 40, 2010-11;
The Northern Ireland population is ageing as a result of long-term falls in fertility rates and long-term improvements in mortality rates. This will create changes in the make-up of the Northern Ireland population. Most notably it is projected that the ageing of the Northern Ireland population over the next five decades will be the fastest in the United Kingdom. In the 1937 Census the older population (those aged 65 and over) was recorded at just under 116,000 (nine per cent of the population). This compares with 2009 with almost 255,000 older people (14
per cent of the population). Population ageing is likely to be faster over the next 30 years, with older people projected to reach half a million by 2041 (24 per cent of the population). Over the last century mortality rates have declined, people are therefore living longer and dying of different diseases today than in the past. The majority of those aged 65 and over were simply recorded as dying of old age in 1922, but by 2009, those aged 85 and over are more likely to die due to diseases of the circulatory system followed by diseases of the respiratory system. Calculations for life expectancy and limiting long term illness-free life expectancy show that on average males can expect to live 76.6 years with 80 per cent or 61.5 years limiting long term illness-free, while females can expect to live for 81.3 years with 77 per cent or 62.3 of those years limiting long term illness-free. Based on current trends after the age of 65 the Northern Ireland population is expected to spend around half of their remaining years in poor health.
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