21/10/2009

Population Rises As People Live Longer

The Northern Ireland population is to increase by 64,000 people - or 4% - over the next five years and is expected to pass 1.8m next year.

It will then rise to 1.839m by 2013, according to latest government figures. However, expected increases in the number of babies (pictured) may soon be dwarfed by the older generation.

Figures from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency are also confirming a trend towards an aging population.

The number of people of pensionable age is projected to increase by around 11% in the next five years and by 40% in the next 15 years.

The projected increase in population is primarily due to natural growth.

In total, between 2008 and 2013 it is projected that there will be 55,000 more births than deaths.

Population projections are by definition based on assumptions about future fertility (the number of children each woman will have), mortality (the chance of dying) and migration levels (movement of people into and out of Northern Ireland).
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In these population projections, it is assumed that the hypothetical 'average woman' in Northern Ireland will have 1.95 children in her lifetime and that people will continue to live longer, with death rates continuing to reduce.

In the long term, rates of improvement in mortality rates are projected to be 1% per annum and over the next six years and around 10,000 more people will come here to live than leave.

Beyond this, migration will be broadly in balance with 500 more people coming here to live than leaving each year.

The number of children in Northern Ireland is projected to increase marginally over the next fifteen years from 381,000 children in 2008 to a projected 398,000 children in 2023 (4% increase);

The number of people of current working age is also projected to increase marginally from 1,098,000 people in 2008 to a projected 1,132,000 people in 2023 (3% increase).

The number of people aged 65 and over will continue to rise after 2023, and there are projected to be twice as many people aged 65 and over in 2041 than there are today.

See: UK Population 'To Top 70m'

(BMcC/KMcA)

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