Essential facts, stats and quotes relating to older people

Published on: 17th August 2015 | Updated on: 28th March 2022

This page contains facts, stats and quotes that LPC members may find useful when writing business cases or developing resources to support the commissioning of certain services.

This page is ‘work in progress’ and will continue to be updated with new facts, stats and quotes.

Facts, stats and quotes on other topics can be accessed on the Essential facts, stats and quotes page.

Public Health England, Recent trends in life expectancy at older ages: Update to 2014 (February 2016)

  • Over the last 30 years there has been an upward trend in life expectancy at older ages in England.
  • within England as a whole, life expectancy for both sexes at ages 65, 75, 85 and 95 increased between 2013 and 2014. This follows falls in life expectancy at some older ages between 2011 and 2012.
  • The 2014 life expectancy figures for England are the highest ever recorded at nearly all these ages. However, despite the rise in female life expectancy at age 85 in 2014, it is still at the same level as in 2011.
  • In all but one region of England, male and female life expectancy at age 65 increased between 2013 and 2014 and is higher in 2014 than in any other year presented. The exception is the North East, where male life expectancy was highest in 2013.
  • In most regions, male and female life expectancy at age 85 increased between 2013 and 2014. The exceptions are male life expectancy in the North East and East of England, which remained stable between 2013 and 2014.
  • Male life expectancy at age 85 is still lower in 2014 than in 2011 in the North West. For females at age 85, it is lower in 2014 than 2011 in the West Midlands.

NHS Confederation, Growing old together: Sharing new ways to support older people (January 2016)

  • Older people are high users of hospital services, accounting for 54% of bed days and 40% of day cases in England.
  • 5 million people in the UK are over 85. This group needs a high level of health and social care input and is expected to nearly double by 2032.
  • If they are admitted to hospital, this is more than twice as likely to be an emergency admission than for a younger person. Their average length of stay after an emergency hospital admission is nearly twice the average of all ages, at 10.9 days.
  • By 2020, 7 million people in England aged over 60 are likely to have two or more long-term conditions.
  • Health and care expenditure for over-75s is many times higher than that for younger people – up to 13 times higher, according to some calculations.
  • In 2012/13, there were 2,211,228 emergency admissions to English hospitals of people over 60. The cost was £3.4 billion.
  • In 2013/14, there were nearly 3.7 million attendances at English A&Es by people over 65. Nearly 10% of these involved those aged 90 or older.
  • 5 million people over 65 live alone already and this number is expected to rise; 2 million people over 75 live alone.
  • By 2018, it is estimated that there will be 7 million older people who can’t walk up a flight of stairs without resting.
  • Falls, often in the home, are the single largest cause of emergency hospital admissions for older people, and impact on long-term outcomes. A falls prevention strategy could reduce the number of falls by 15-30%.
  • Many older people in Britain will struggle with the activities of everyday living but may have only informal support from friends and family, or no support at all. Others will have to pay for this support. The numbers receiving publicly-funded care has significantly reduced from 1.2 million in 2004/05 to under 900,000 in 2012/13.

House of Commons Library, Population ageing: statistics (February 2012)

  • There are more than 10.3 million older people over the age of 65 in the UK. This represents an 80% increase since the 1950s.
  • The population will continue to grow older, with the 65+ population expected to reach 16.9 million by 2035.


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