What does the 2011 Census tell us about older people living in Warwickshire?

The 2011 census reveals a range of indicators relating to the demographics of older people in the county. It provides important information as the people of Warwickshire work together to tackle the issues surrounding our aging population.

The number of people aged 65+ living in Warwickshire increased by 21% between 2001 and 2011, to 99,281. This means that older people now make up over 18% of the total population of Warwickshire. Stratford-on-Avon District has the largest proportion of older people, as 22% of the total population of the district are over 65.

As far as the oldest old (aged 85+) are concerned, Warwickshire now has a population of 13,157, an increase of 37% from 2001. The number of men has increased by 55% over the course of the ten years. However, there are still more than two women for every man in this age group.

Housing

The heat map below shows the number of older people in each area of the county as a proportion of the overall population. The LSOAs with the highest proportions of older people are summarised in the table.

table1

   Source: 2011 Census, 2014

Older people blog map

Interestingly, we see that there is a mix of both rural and urban areas with high densities of older residents. In Warwick district, the population becomes more concentrated in urban areas, as people get older. The proportion of the 65+ population living in rural areas is 16% compared to just 8% of over 90s. In districts such as North Warwickshire and Stratford where there are fewer towns, we do not see this trend. In fact more than 70% of people in the over 90-age bracket still live in the countryside. As the population of oldest old continues to rise, this suggests that we are likely to see an increasing demand for amenities and basic healthcare in these rural areas.

Of every 100 residents aged 65+, 79 own their house. If we ignore the 3,065 people who rent accommodation in communal establishments such as care homes, this increases to 83 out of every 100 older residents. Moreover, an overwhelming 91% of older residents who own a house, own outright. Comparing this with the figures for the general population, we find that 71 house occupants out of every 100 own their house, with fewer than half of these owning outright.

Living Arrangements

Older People blog graph

Source: 2011 Census, 2014

Whereas 49% of the 65+ population are legally married, only 24% of those who are 85 or over have a partner. The overwhelming majority (69%) are widowed. Consequently, we find that 29,209 older people live alone, of which 7 in every 10 are women. Although the number of people living alone has remained steady in recent years, the proportion of older people living alone has decreased from 35% in 2001 to the current level of 29%. This is also slightly below than the national average of 31%.

Health and Well-being

When we consider the health of the older generation in Warwickshire, 54% of older people (aged 65+) and 30% of the oldest old (aged 85+) report good or very good health. This is compared with 89% for under-65s. Residents of the Nuneaton and Bedworth and North Warwickshire Boroughs perceive themselves to be less healthy with over 17% of over 65s reporting bad or very bad health. The table shows the LSOAs with greatest and the smallest proportions of older people reporting good or very good health.

table2

Source: 2011 Census, 2014

Provision of unpaid care

Of every 100 people aged 65+, 15 provide unpaid care, and more than a third of these are committed to providing care for at least 50 hours a week. The proportion of men providing care is higher than that of women but a higher proportion of the women who provide care, do so for at least 50 hours a week. In general, the health of those who provide unpaid care is no worse than that of other older people. However, 17% of those who provide care for more than 50 hours a week report bad or very bad health.

If you have any comments or would like any further information regarding the older generation in Warwickshire, email research@warwickshireobservatory.org

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