The population of Dorset, mirroring that of the UK, is aging. It is happening more rapidly in Dorset due to our larger older population and declining birth rate. The median age in Dorset is 51, up by 4 years since 2009, compared to a median age of just 40 for England, up by less than one year in the last 10 years.1

Typically Older People refers to those who are no longer of working age, so traditionally 65+. However with increased life expectancy an increasing number of people find themselves either having to work, or wanting to work beyond what was traditionally retirement age.

All data relates to statistics that pre-date Covid unless stated otherwise

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Population

  • The population of those aged between 65 and 79 has grown by 31% between 2009 and 2019 and is projected to grow a further 14% to 2029. Those aged 80+ have grown by 18% between 2009 and 2019 and is projected to grow by 43% to 20291,2.
  • Nationwide migration of older people is driven by movement out of urban areas to rural and coastal areas. Net migration figures in Dorset are highest for the 60-65 yr old age group3.
  • The Old Age Dependency Ratio (OADR) is the number of people over 65yrs old for every 1,000 people aged between 16 and 64 years old. In England there are 295 older people per 1,000 working age population in Dorset this figure is 5271.
  • Nationally 64% of the total growth in the number of households over the next ten years is where the Household Representative Person is aged 75 year or over. In Dorset this figure is 102%.
  • The institutional population of those aged 75+ is projected to grow by 28% in Dorset, slightly above the average for England of 26%.4
10 Year Population Projection
10 Year Population Projection

Life Expectancy

  • Life expectancy over the last few decades has been steadily increasing nationally. At the age of 65 a woman in Dorset would expect to live for a further 23 years while a man 20 years.5
  • As well as living longer people are also living healthier lives. Dorset has above average healthy life expectancy; at age 65 females in Dorset can expect to live a further 12.6 years in good/fairly good health, males 11.6 years. Compared to 11.1 and 10.6 respectively for England.6
  • The life expectancy gap between Dorset’s most and least deprived areas is 6.3 years for males and 5.3 years for females.7
  • With increases in life expectancy, no official retirement age and the state pension age rising, 65 as the start of older age could be becoming out of date8.
  • Nationally employment rate for those aged 65+ has risen over the past ten years from 7.4 in the Feb-Apr quarter of 2009 to 11.3 in the same quarter in 2020.9
  • 6% of the total workforce in Dorset Council at the time of the last Census were aged 65 or over, compared to 3% for England.10
  • In England and Wales one in five carers is aged 50 to 69. In 2016 informal adult care was valued at £59.5 billion per year for the UK.8 According to Census 2011 30% of the 43,500 unpaid carers were aged 65 and over compared to 22% for England. As the population ages there will be increased need for informal care but also a need for older people to stay in the workforce longer.
Life expectancy
Life expectancy

What are we doing about it?

With the population of Dorset continuing to age, demand for both formal and informal care will also grow. It is already very difficult to recruit formal care workers, particularly in rural areas. Dorset has been working with councils across the South West to promote caring as a career under the banner ‘Proud to Care’.

Staying fitter for longer improves people’s physical and mental wellbeing. Dorset council maintains green spaces, funds services such as ‘LiveWell Dorset6’ and supports ‘Prevention at Scale’ through a multi-agency Sustainability and Transformation Plan.

The availability of appropriate housing is key to supporting older people to maintain their health and wellbeing. The council produces population projections going forwards 25 years to anticipate housing need and inform local plans, including demand for specialist provision for older people. We work with developers to encourage and support the building of accessible and affordable housing options.

Headline Figures

31,000

Population of 80+ year olds in 2019

29%

Aged 65+ in Dorset

19%

Aged 65+ in England & Wales

2% pa

Growth in those aged 65+ over next decade

81 years

Life expectancy for males

85 years

Life expectancy for females

Headline Figures

31,000

Population of 80+ year olds in 2019

29%

Aged 65+ in Dorset

19%

Aged 65+ in England & Wales

2% pa

Growth in those aged 65+ over next decade

81 years

Life expectancy for males

85 years

Life expectancy for females


Sources

  • 1 2019 Mid-year estimates, Office for National Statistics
  • 2 2019-based trend population projections, DC
  • 3 2019 Population Components of Change, ONS
  • 4 2018 based Household Projections, ONS
  • 5 Life expectancy at birth (2017-19), ONS
  • 6 Health State Life Expectancy (2016-18), ONS
  • 7 Dorset Health Profile 2019, Public Health England
  • 8 Living Longer Bulletins, ONS
  • 9 Labour Force Survey, 2020
  • 10 Census 2011

42 Reports

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17 Related Datasets

Order by: Newest first

  • 2020 Mid-Year Estimates, Unitary Authority, Historical District and above

    Published: 27 July 2021

    Annual Mid-Year Estimates produced by the Office for National Statistics

    Downloads: 292

  • 2019 Ward Level Population Estimates

    Published: 23 December 2020

    2019 Office for National Statistics Experimental Population Estimates for Dorset wards

    Downloads: 731

  • 2019 LSOA Level Mid-Year Estimates

    Published: 08 December 2020

    2019 Population estimates for Lower Super Output Area Geographies in Dorset

    Downloads: 535

  • Internal Migration for Mid-Years 2002-2019

    Published: 08 December 2020

    Internal Migration by 5 year age group for Dorset Council and Bournemouth, Christchurch & Poole Council

    Downloads: 429

  • Life Expectancy at birth and age 65, 2019

    Published: 07 December 2020

    Life expectancy at birth and age 65 by sex for Local Authority geography and above.

    Downloads: 350

  • 2018 based Household Projections

    Published: 20 July 2020

    Office for National Statistics 2018 based Household Projections for Dorset

    Downloads: 956

  • 2018 based ONS Population Projections for Dorset

    Published: 07 July 2020

    2018 based Office for National Statistics Sub National Population Projections for current and former Dorset geographies in five year age groups.

    Downloads: 886

  • 2018 Parish Level Mid Year Population Estimates

    Published: 23 March 2020

    2018 best fit Output Area population to parish geography for all persons by five year age groups.

    Downloads: 707

  • Indices of Deprivation 2019- National and Dorset Council Ranks

    Published: 03 January 2020

    The English Indices of Deprivation helps identify and prioritise areas to assist the government and other agencies both national and local in narrowing the gap between deprived neighbourhoods and the rest of the country.

    Downloads: 799

  • Indices of Deprivation 2019 - Dorset East Sub Unitary Geography (SUG) Maps

    Published: 11 December 2019

    This pdf illustrates national deprivation levels at a small geography across Dorset East SUG area for 2019. There are sixteen maps which look at a range of components of deprivation including health, income, employment, education and skills, living environment, crime and barriers to housing and services. There is also a multiple deprivation map that combines all these aspects of deprivation to give us an overall picture. The document also has a number of maps that look at specific aspects (sub domains) such as deprivation affecting children and outdoor living environment.

    Downloads: 809

  • Indices of Deprivation 2019 - Dorset West Sub Unitary Geography (SUG) Maps

    Published: 11 December 2019

    This pdf illustrates national deprivation levels at a small geography across Dorset West SUG area for 2019. There are sixteen maps which look at a range of components of deprivation including health, income, employment, education and skills, living environment, crime and barriers to housing and services. There is also a multiple deprivation map that combines all these aspects of deprivation to give us an overall picture. The document also has a number of maps that look at specific aspects (sub domains) such as deprivation affecting children and outdoor living environment.

    Downloads: 1195

  • Indices of Deprivation 2019 - Mid Dorset Sub Unitary Geography (SUG) Maps

    Published: 11 December 2019

    This pdf illustrates national deprivation levels at a small geography across Mid Dorset SUG area for 2019. There are sixteen maps which look at a range of components of deprivation including health, income, employment, education and skills, living environment, crime and barriers to housing and services. There is also a multiple deprivation map that combines all these aspects of deprivation to give us an overall picture. The document also has a number of maps that look at specific aspects (sub domains) such as deprivation affecting children and outdoor living environment.

    Downloads: 1033

  • Indices of Deprivation 2019 - South East Dorset Sub Unitary Geography (SUG) Maps

    Published: 11 December 2019

    This pdf illustrates national deprivation levels at a small geography across South East Dorset SUG area for 2019. There are sixteen maps which look at a range of components of deprivation including health, income, employment, education and skills, living environment, crime and barriers to housing and services. There is also a multiple deprivation map that combines all these aspects of deprivation to give us an overall picture. The document also has a number of maps that look at specific aspects (sub domains) such as deprivation affecting children and outdoor living environment.

    Downloads: 1091

  • Indices of Deprivation 2019 - Dorset North Sub Unitary Geography (SUG) Maps

    Published: 11 December 2019

    This pdf illustrates national deprivation levels at a small geography across Dorset North SUG area for 2019. There are sixteen maps which look at a range of components of deprivation including health, income, employment, education and skills, living environment, crime and barriers to housing and services. There is also a multiple deprivation map that combines all these aspects of deprivation to give us an overall picture. The document also has a number of maps that look at specific aspects (sub domains) such as deprivation affecting children and outdoor living environment.

    Downloads: 1029

  • Indices of Deprivation 2019 - Dorset South Sub Unitary Geography (SUG) Maps

    Published: 11 December 2019

    This pdf illustrates national deprivation levels at a small geography across Dorset South SUG area for 2019. There are sixteen maps which look at a range of components of deprivation including health, income, employment, education and skills, living environment, crime and barriers to housing and services. There is also a multiple deprivation map that combines all these aspects of deprivation to give us an overall picture. The document also has a number of maps that look at specific aspects (sub domains) such as deprivation affecting children and outdoor living environment.

    Downloads: 722

  • Indices of Deprivation 2019 - Dorset Council Maps

    Published: 25 November 2019

    The combined map base pdf illustrates national deprivation levels at a small geography across Dorset for 2019. There are sixteen maps which look at a range of components of deprivation including health, income, employment, education and skills, living environment, crime and barriers to housing and services. There is also a multiple deprivation (IMD) map that combines all these aspects of deprivation to give us an overall picture for Dorset. The document also has a number of maps that look at specific aspects (sub domains) such as deprivation affecting children and outdoor living environment.

    Downloads: 668

  • POPPI: Projecting Older People Information

    Published: 28 July 2014

    A population based database providing information on older people (external website)

    Downloads: 1832

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