Estimates of the Population aged 85 and over, Northern Ireland (2017)

Date published: 25 September 2018

This annual release provides a further age breakdown of the most recently published mid-year population estimates (i.e. mid-2017). 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-2007 to mid-2017). 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 2017 the population aged 85 and over living in Northern Ireland was estimated to be 37,200. This is a 2%, or 700 person, increase on the mid-2016 estimate.
  • Over the last decade (2007-17) the population aged 85 and over has increased by 9,200 people or 33%. This population, sometimes referred to as the oldest old, has grown over five times faster than the rest of the population. This faster growth is being driven by historical improvements in longevity.
  • In 2017, Northern Ireland’s oldest old made up 2% of our population. This is the lowest percentage of the four United Kingdom countries. However, the growth rate over the last decade in Northern Ireland (33%) was significantly higher than in Great Britain (25%).
  • While last year women accounted for two thirds (66%) of the population aged 85 and over, the proportion of men in this age group continues to rise.
  • The statistics indicate that there were 274 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.


Further information, including statistical tables and an infographic, is available here

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