The outlook is decidedly grey across Britain, with the population of almost
every city, town and village set to get older in the coming years.
But the notable exceptions to this trend are not the metropolitan hubs known for their youth culture, but the more-sedate settings of Bournemouth in Dorset and Barking and Dagenham in east London.
That’s according to a new forecast of Britain’s ageing population based on data released last week by the Office for National Statistics (ONS), looking at a timespan of 1992-2037. The ONS experts predict that the median age for the UK will reach 43 by 2037 – up from 36 in 1992. Bournemouth and Barking and Dagenham are the only parts of the country where the median age is set to fall over this 45-year period.
In Bournemouth, traditionally seen as a place to retire, the median age is projected to decline from 34 to around 33 and six months.
The slowest-greying areas of the UK include several English cities, notably Southampton, Bristol, Nottingham and Norwich.
In comparison, rural areas of England will age rapidly – mainly due to young people leaving home in search of work further afield. In remote areas of Scotland, the situation is so dire experts liken it to a modern-day “Highland clearances”, warning people may have to move if they want access to public services – with under-subscribed schools and doctors’ surgeries under threat.