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Ageing population grows by 33.8 per cent in West Berkshire





West Berkshire’s ageing population time bomb is beginning to explode.

Figures released in the 2021 Census say the district has seen a 33.8 per cent increase in the number of over 65s living here in the last decade.

That’s around 13 per cent higher than the national average.

Census 2021 findings have been published
Census 2021 findings have been published
Census 21 (57637897)
Census 21 (57637897)

In West Berkshire 19.6 per cent of people are now over 65 years old.

The number of people aged 15 to 64 years remains constant, while there has been a decrease of 1.4 per cent in children aged under 15 years.

West Berkshire’s overall population has also gone up, but only by 4.9 per cent – which is lower than the overall increase for England, at 6.6 per cent.

There are now a total of 161,400 people in the district.

Nearby areas have also seen their populations increase, with Wokingham seeing around a 15 per cent hike, Bracknell Forest seeing an increase of 10.1 per cent and Basingstoke and Deane increasing by 10.4 per cent.

The population of England and Wales has increased by more than 3.5 million in the last decade.

The population has continued to age.

Across England, more than one in six people (18.4 per cent) were aged 65 years and over on Census Day in 2021.

This is a higher percentage than ever before.

The places that have seen the largest increases in the population aged 65 years and over are Milton Keynes in the South East, which has seen 43.6 per cent growth.

In Reading there has been an increase of 17.2 per cent in people aged 65 years and over, and in Basingstoke and Deane there has been an increase of 32.5 per cent in people aged 65 years and over.

In Wokingham there has been an increase of 28.2 per cent in people aged 65 years and over.

As of 2021, West Berkshire is the ninth least densely populated of the South East’s 64 local authority areas, with around two people living on each football pitch-sized area of land.



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