British academy

Demographic futures

Addressing inequality and diversity among older people

Pat Thane FBA

With constant discussion of how the UK population is ageing, many people have come to see older people as a burden on society. It is often assumed that the main option available to combat increasing pension and NHS costs is to raise the state pension age.

In Demographic Futures, Pat Thane argues that there are alternatives available, which are informed by a better understanding of the older demographic. Through summarising the relevant evidence around such factors as life expectancy, fertility, migration and older people’s activity, this report demonstrates not only the huge diversity in terms of health and lifestyle that exists amongst those over 60, but also the many kinds of contributions this age group are making to society.

Published 25 June 2012    ISBN 978-0-85672-603-3

Download Demographic futures

Demographic futures is the sixth in the New paradigms in public policy series, chaired by Peter Taylor-Gooby FBA.

The project reviews some particularly difficult issues in public policy: climate change, multiculturalism, recession and recovery, population ageing, neighbourhood problems and the Third Sector, rebuilding democratic engagement and managing the demands of an increasingly assertive public. The series reviews current understanding of the issues, situated within academic theory-building, and discusses possible ways forward.

Working group:

Andrew Gamble FBA
Ian Gough
Tariq Modood
Anne Power
Gerry Stoker
Peter Taylor-Gooby FBA (chair)
Pat Thane FBA