One in three people in North Norfolk is aged 65 and over, census suggests
The part of the East Anglia coastline that stretches from Wells to Cromer and North Walsham is no longer famous just for its stunning scenery and seaside resorts – it is also the first area in England and Wales where one in three people are estimated to be aged 65 and over.
North Norfolk local authority had the highest proportion of over-65s on census day 2021, making up 33.4% of its population, according to the Office for National Statistics (ONS).
Close behind was Rother in East Sussex on 32.4%, followed by East Lindsey in Lincolnshire (30.4%) and East Devon (30%).
In total, there were 56 local areas in England and Wales where over-65s accounted for at least 25% of the population on census day.
This is up from just seven areas in 2011.
The figures reflect long-term changes in the UK population, with the balance tilting gradually away from younger age groups and towards the elderly.
Some 18.6% of the population of England and Wales were aged 65 and over on census day 2021, up from 16.4% in 2011.
Just 23.1% were aged under 20, down from 24%.
Over-65s accounted for 23% of the population of North Norfolk in 1981 and had reached 28.8% by 2011, before hitting 33.4% in the latest census.
All the top 10 areas with the highest proportion of over-65s in 2021 were on the coast.
By contrast, nine of the 10 areas with the lowest proportion of over-65s were in London, with Tower Hamlets ranking last on 5.6%.