Almost all organisms age and ageing is considered to be a normal biological process. Ageing occurs because damage to molecules, cells and tissues throughout life leads to loss of function and increased risk of death. Research can increase understanding of the human ageing process and lead to interventions that can improve health and quality of life in older people.

You can download the answers here.

You could also ask the students to create a table and/or graph from these data.

Curriculum links

Mathematical content for science subjects
8.2 Arithmetic and numerical computation (b) Use ratios, fractions and percentages.
8.5 Graphs (a) Translate information between graphical, numerical and algebraic forms.


A changing population

  1. What percentage of the population is in the following four age brackets and how they have changed over time?
  2. Which sections of the population are shrinking and which are increasing?

Fill in the table below ( download the pdf worksheet).

Age bracket

1984

% of total

2008

% of total

2033 (estimated)

% of total

Increasing or decreasing?

under 16

11.9 million

 

11.5 million

 

12.8 million

 

 

16-SPA*

34.4 million

 

38.1 million

 

43.3 million

 

 

SPA-85

9.4 million

 

11.8 million

 

17.2 million

 

 

85+

0.7 million

 

1.3 million

 

3.3 million

 

 

Total population

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*SPA = state pension age which was 65 for men and 60 for women until 2010, it is now 65 for both sexes. Between 2024 and 2046 the state pension age will increase from 65 to 68 for both sexes.

Check your answers in this quiz online here.

populationThe

 

The department for national statistics has an interactive map showing the median age of the population in different parts on the UK. The median age is the age at which half the population is older and half the population is younger. The map shows data for different years in the past and projected data for the future.