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Release: Characteristics of Older People , What does the 2011 Census tell us about the oldest old living in England and Wales?

Released: 06 December 2013


Angele Storey

Demographic Analysis Unit

Telephone: +44 (0) 1329 444512

Categories: Population, Ageing, Older People

Frequency of release: Ad-hoc

Language: English

Geographical coverage: England and Wales

Geographical breakdown: Country

Survey name(s): Census


Please note that the units on the horizontal axis of Figure 1 were changed, at 12:30pm on 6th December 2013. We apologise for any inconvenience.

Key points

The key points from this release are:
  • On Census Day 2011 there were 1.25 million people aged 85 or over who were usually resident in England & Wales. This compared to 1.01 million in 2001.

  • In 2011, women outnumbered men in this age group by 2:1, but there was a larger percentage increase in the number of men (45%) than women (16%) over the decade.   

  • In 2011, about one in ten men and one in five women aged 85 and over lived in a communal establishment, with the remainder living in a private household. 

  • For every 100 women aged 85 or over, 77 were widowed, 13 were married and 10 were either single, separated or divorced. Out of every 100 men aged 85 and over, 43 were widowed, 48 were married and nine were either single, separated or divorced.

  • 31% of men and 25% of women aged 85 and over in 2011 considered that they had very good or good general health. This compared to 24% of men and 26% of women who reported that they had bad or very bad health.

  • A larger proportion of those aged 85 and over were providing unpaid care in 2011 than in 2001; 8.8% in 2011 compared to 5.0% in 2001. Over half of those aged 85 and over who provided care in 2011 were providing 50 or more hours of care in an average week

This report looks at the characteristics of people aged 85 and over usually resident in England and Wales on Census Day 2011. Topics covered include type of residence, marital status and living arrangements, health and unpaid care.

Content from the Office for National Statistics.
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