The UK’s population will increase by 9.6 million over the next 25 years, according to predictions from the Office of National Statistics.
If the estimates are correct, the total population will stand at 73.3 billion in 2037. The expected increase has been attributed to immigration levels and people living longer, leading to a sharp increase in the number of elderly people.
According to the data, the number of people of state pension age will rise by almost a third (31%) over this period, with one in 12 of the population being over 80. The figures highlight a need for investment in the aging population in order to ensure services and care requirements can be met as the number of elderly increases.
Dan Hird, head of corporate finance at sustainable bank Triodos, said, “There is no doubt that there is a need for investing in a growing population. On the one hand it’s brilliant because people are living longer but on the other hand it’s a massive problem because of health issues.”
Triodos recently teamed up with Avante Partnership to raise £5m through a five-year charity bond. The bond will raise money for new nursing and dementia facilities.
Hird also pointed to research conducted by Avante which found that by 2050 there will be need for an extra half a million beds in care homes because of the ageing population.
He added that there was defiantly an appetite for social investment but the biggest challenge is communicating with investors, saying, “You have to try and make people realise they can do something positive with their money.”
With investment coming from the state being unlikely due to budget cuts and other priorities, investment in the ageing population falls to the private and third sectors.
Whilst the private sector contributes the largest proportion of money for care facilities it does raise some ethical questions because they do it for profit. As a result, Hird added that the third sector is where he believed “there ought to be more growth.”