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Reaction to ONS data on number of people reaching 90 and 100 years old

New data shows the number of people in Britain aged 90 or older continues to grow.

Our Evidence Manager, Dr Aideen Young, says there are still too many inequalities in life-expectancy, including how well-off you are financially.

Data released by the Office for National Statistics (ONS) shows that the numbers of people reaching 90 continues to rise.

In 2018, there were 584,020 people aged 90+, an increase of 50% since 2002 and more than 4,000 more than in 2017. The number of centenarians is 13,170, which is almost 73% more than in 2002, and there are now 820 people aged 105 and over.

Notably, there are more than twice as many women aged 90+ (more than 400K) than men (183K), though this gap is narrowing. There are more than five times as many women aged 105+ (690 of them) as men (130).

Dr Aideen Young, Evidence Manager, Centre for Ageing Better, commented:

“Our longer lives are an incredible gift and open up huge opportunities for individuals and society, so it’s great to see that the number of people reaching 90 and 100 is increasing. The number of people aged 90 and over has increased by half since 2002, and more than 400,000 women are aged 90 or more. The number of those living beyond 105 years old has more than doubled.

“But we mustn’t be complacent. Life expectancy remains lower in less well-off parts of the country, and many people in their 50s and 60s now, particularly those who are less well-off, simply won’t reach these older ages. They will experience poor health and disability much earlier and will die much earlier too.

“We must act now to add life to our years; to make sure that everyone has the opportunity to make the most of a longer life. Without radical action to help people age well, we are storing up problems for the future and leaving millions at risk of poverty and poor health in later life.”

The State of Ageing in 2019: Adding life to our years

Read more