According to official figures, the ‘UK’s elderly population could nearly double in size over the next 25 years’; Office for National Statistics calculations reveal that the ‘number of people aged 85 and over’ is ‘projected to rise from an estimated 1.7 million in 2020 to 3.1 million by 2045’, thus the over-85s will ‘account for 4.3 per cent of the population, up from 2.5 per cent in 2020.’ But while the ‘number of people of pensionable age is projected to jump from 11.9 million to 15.2’, over the same time period, the number of under-14s is set ‘to fall from 17.9 per cent to 14.8 per cent’ (‘Over-85s to double by 2045’, Daily Express, January 13, 2022).
One would almost think that old people are multiplying like a virus, but in fact they are simply young people who are continuing to get older, and there is no easier phenomenon to predict than the ‘ageing population’, a combination of greater longevity and fewer babies being born.
Many women are remaining childless – sadly, a world-wide phenomenon – and in fact, a 2020 report from the ONS bluntly stated: ‘In the future, there will be more older people and a higher proportion of those will be childless. Because adult children are the most common providers of informal social care to their parents at older ages, this is likely to increase the demand for paid-for care.’
But the ‘paid-for care’ must also be provided by younger, fitter human beings; can we therefore expect our governing classes to follow Hungary’s example of boosting births by introducing incentives for larger families, and even allowing thousands of unborn humans to be born, rather than exterminating great swathes of our future generations before birth?
Sadly, based on the dominant progressive view that having children is a Bad Thing, and successive governments’ inability to change course, there are no prizes for guessing the answer to that one. Cue even more birth control, with the addition of death control – sorry, ‘the right to die’ – to deal with the ‘problem’ of ‘too many’ old people. As far as they are concerned, it is too late to prevent the births of the elderly, but there is still time to prevent them from living ‘too long’. As well as failing to value the experience of the elderly, we are doing our best to ensure that the old people of the future are never born.