Rising age of East Devon residents will be one of the highest in the UK

PUBLISHED: 12:00 10 May 2019

By 2026 there will be around one pensioner for every two working-aged people in East Devon. Picture: Radar

By 2026 there will be around one pensioner for every two working-aged people in East Devon. Picture: Radar

Archant

The aging population in East Devon means that there will be one pensioner for every two working-aged residents by 2026.

New figures show that the district will have one of the highest ratios of retirement-age residents in England.

Economic experts say higher taxes or lower spending will be needed to cope with the costs of the UK's ageing population.

According to the main population projections done by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) there are currently 43,082 people of pension age in East Devon and 77,786 of working age.

The ratio, produced by the ONS, takes into account migration from overseas and other parts of the UK, based on trends for the past 10 years.

It's predicted that by 2026 there'll be 574 people eligible for a state pension for every 1,000 still working.

Previous projections show the current rate is 554.

It also considers the gradual increase in the retirement age introduced by the Government. By 2026 it will reach 67.

David Sturrock, research economist at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, said the ratio provided a useful measure for the pressure an ageing population will place on society.

He said: "We think there needs to be some response to demographic pressures, either through spending reduction, tax rises, or some combination of both.

"Some steps have been made, such as raising the state pension age, but on current trends the ageing population will continue to grow, and it will demand action from politicians."

Caroline Abrahams, Charity Director at Age UK, said: "Many will be surprised by how much older people contribute to society including a great deal of knowledge, skill and energy. Whether they are volunteers, informal carers or paid employees, many are redefining what it means to be 'an older person'.

"Our creaking social care system has been chronically underfunded for years and will simply not be able to cope with the extra demand that an ageing population will bring unless substantial funding is found.

"We also need to create age friendly communities that offer a good quality of life across the generations, by designing environments that are safe and pleasant to live in, with good local facilities and open spaces.

"If we can get this right it will help to sustain the health, well-being and quality of life for everyone, regardless of age."

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