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6th September 2013

Older people contribute more than £1bn to Welsh economy

Census data released by the Office for National Statistics has revealed key changes in the way people over 65 are living in England and Wales.

The data, from 2011 and 2011, analysed by ONS showed there are a million more older people living in England and Wales in 2011 than in 2001.

And the proportion of the population aged 65-74 who were economically active in 2011 was almost double the proportion in 2001 (up by 413,000 since 2001).


Older people and the care sector

  • Across the UK 14 per cent of older people living in households in England and Wales provided unpaid care in 2011, compared with 12 per cent in 2001. The largest increase in proportion was for those aged 65 and over providing 50 hours or more unpaid care a week: up from 4.3 per cent (341,000) in 2001 to 5.6 per cent (497,000) in 2011.


  • In Wales, where the average age of the population is rising more rapidly than England’s, older people are contributing more than £1bn to the country’s economy through volunteer work and childcare, according to the Older People’s Commissioner for Wales.

She said that there are 767,429 people over the age of 60 living in Wales, with over 65s making a net contribution of just over £1bn to the Welsh economy in 2010, through childcare, caring for their partners and volunteering.

A spokeswoman for the Commissioner told the Western Mail:

“In Wales there are nearly 800,000 older people, so that is a big, big proportion of the population and what people talk to us about is that they want their voice heard and they want to have choices in their lives.

“They want to do the things that they want to do, they want to feel safe, to live in a place that suits them and get the help they need when they need it. In short, they want to have lives that have value, meaning and purpose.

“People are living longer and hopefully they are living healthier for longer, as there is more information out there about how to stay healthy.”

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