The age structure of the population is projected to change significantly over the next 40 years, mainly as a result of past fluctuations in the number of births.
These and other projected changes to the population are published today in an Office of Population Censuses and Surveys report Population projections: 1991 based.
Other changes include: - the number of children under 16 is projected to increase by about 7% in the decade 1991-2001, and then decrease slowly until 2020;
- the number of people over pensionable age (65 for men and 60 for women) is projected to increase by 2% between 1991 and 2001, from 9.4 million to 9.6 million. It is then projected to increase more quickly to reach 14.4 million in 2031 - an increase of 50% in 30 years.
The projections indicate an ageing population. Over the period 1991 to 2031, while the total population of England and Wales is projected to rise by 8%, the population aged 45 to 59 is projected to increase by 15%, that aged 60 to 74 by 43%, that aged 75 to 84 by 48%, and that aged 85 and over by 138%.