Belfast Telegraph

Revealed: How many people are aged 85 or older in Northern Ireland?

People in Northern Ireland are living longer - as the number of those aged over 85 here has grown by around 900 per year in the last decade.

The figures come in statistics published on Wednesday by the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA).

In the last decade, the population aged 85 and over has reached 36,500 representing 2% of the population.

The rate of growth for those aged 85 and over is almost six times that of those under 85 years of age (34.8% and 6.4% respectively).

The number of women in the age of 85 and over account for two thirds (66.8%) however the population increase among males over the decade has been noticeably higher than that among females (52% and 27.7% respectively).

The estimates also suggest that there were 278 centenarians (those aged 100 and over) in mid-2016, the vast majority (86.7%) were female.

Across Northern Ireland the proportion of people aged 85 and over in mid-2016 ranged from 1.4% (2,100 people) in Derry and Strabane to 2.4% (3,900 people) in Ards and North Down.

At a UK level Northern Ireland continues to have the lowest proportion of people aged 85 and over (2%).  However, over the decade ending mid-2016 the percentage growth here among this age group (34.8%) was noticeably higher than in each of England (27.7%), Scotland (26.8%) and Wales (22.4%).

The report said that growth in the population aged 85 and over is the result of more people "ageing into" the 85 and over age group than are leaving it each year as a result of dying.

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