Estimates of the Population Aged 85 and Over

Date published: 25 September 2019

This annual release provides a further age breakdown of the most recently published mid-year population estimates (i.e. mid-2018). Statistics are available for those aged 85 and over by single year of age up to 104 years, and collectively for those aged 105 and over. It also presents information on how the overall number and gender composition of those aged 85 and over has changed during the last decade (i.e. mid-2008 to mid-2018). This release for Northern Ireland coincides with releases for England, Wales and Scotland also published today by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and National Records Scotland (NRS).

The key findings are:

  • By June 2018 the number of people aged 85 and over living in Northern Ireland had risen to 37,700 people. This is a 1.5%, or 600 person, increase on the mid-2017 statistic. This is one of the main findings in new statistics published today by the Statistics & Research Agency (NISRA).
  • Over the last decade (2008-18) the population aged 85 and over has increased by 30%. This population, referred to as the oldest old, has grown at a rate five times higher than the population of Northern Ireland as a whole.
  • Women account for two thirds (66%) of the oldest old. The new statistics also point to an estimated 300 centenarians (i.e. those aged 100 years or more) living in Northern Ireland. This is equivalent to 1 centenarian for every 10,000 people living in Northern Ireland.
  • The oldest old make up 2% of the population – this is lower than the other United Kingdom countries. However, the growth rate in Northern Ireland (30%) over the last decade is higher than the rest of the UK (23%).

Further information, including statistical tables and an infographic, is available on the Estimates of the population aged 85 and over section of the website.

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