UK – According to government projections, the number of pensioners is set to rise by almost 12% to 12.2 million in the next 10 years.

“The number of people of state pensionable age is projected to increase by 11.9% from 10.9 million in 2002 to 12.2 million in 2011,” said the Government Actuary’s Department and the Office for National Statistics in a joint release.

The old age dependency ratio, the number of people of working age compared to those of pensionable age, will fall to just over 2.5 by 2031 – compared to the current 3.35.

“Longer-term projections suggest the support ratio will decline to below 2.2 in the 2050s before levelling off,” the bodies state.

“The population will gradually become older with the average (mean) age expected to rise from 39.3 years in 2002 to 43.6 years in 2031.” Over the longer term, the average age is projected to reach 45 by around 2050. Life expectancy is seen rising to 84.9 years, from the current 75.9.

The overall population is projected to rise by 5.6 million to 64.8 million by 2031 – with three million of that due to net immigration and 2.6 million due to natural increase.