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Kent's ageing population to outstrip national average

Retired people
Retired people

Grey power and silver surfers...that's the future for Kent's
ageing population.

The county is set to get older over the next 20 years - and at a
faster rate than most of the UK.

A so-called Age Map drawn up by the Department for Work and Pensions reveals an increase in the over-65s in Kent from 17.6 per cent now to nearly 24 per cent by 2031 - or almost one in every four people.

That compares with the UK figure, which rises from 17.6 per
cent to just over 22 per cent.

But even in Kent there's a huge discrepancy in the percentage of
older people in the population - with Thanet and Dover predicted to
have the highest number of over-65s by 2031.

Ageing table in Kent
Ageing table in Kent

There they can expect around 29 per cent of people to be older,
while in Dartford a mere 18.7 per cent of people will be over 65 in
20 years' time.

But the good news is we're all going to enjoy longer, healthier

The trend builds on a life expectancy increase of 40 per
cent over the last 25 years - leaving us with more pensioners
than people under 16.

Now we in Kent can expect to live until 89 as men or 90 as
women, compared with just 72 years in 1940.

Pensions minister Steve Webb said: "We cannot ignore our ageing
society - it brings great opportunity if we rise to the

"We must harness the skills and experience of our older
generations. We must also provide the right support.

"We are making changes to reinvigorate a culture of saving and
will ensure that when you get your State Pension it provides a
proper foundation."

Mr Webb also urged people to take action now, adding: "While we
are doing all we can to improve the system, people approaching
retirement should check what they can expect to get from the State
Pension, when and how to build on it."

This can be done by getting a free State Pension Profile online at www.direct.gov.uk/betterfuture.

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