Research details

Demographic change and its impact upon the northern regions

Author[s] Boden, Peter and Rees, Phil

Date 2010



The paper summarises the patterns and trends in demographic behaviour and explores the likely outcomes of this process upon the North of England. The paper is one of a series of 12 commissioned by the centre for Urban and Regional Development Studies [CURDS] at the University of Newcastle to support the Northern Futures research programme commissioned by The Northern Way through the Spatial Economics Research Centre [SERC].


The paper draws on evidence on demographic changes from official sources and academic research from the UK and internationally, focusing on: fertility rates; mortality trends; migration trends; and ethnic group populations.

Key issues

The paper outlines the implications of an increasingly aging population and the need to increase labour force participation among older people to maintain sound economics and pension systems in the face of such demographic changes. It highlights that in future an increasing proportion of the 65+ age group will be from a non-White British background [from 3% in 2001 to 7% in 2031] which has implications for the cultural sensitivities around the provision of health care services and care for the elderly.


The paper contends that the expected impact of this demographic change upon the population profiles of the regions of the North of England has wide ranging implications for future economic and social policy. In the UK, a framework for policy development has identified the need for cultural change in the status of the expanding elderly section of society, with an emphasis upon increasing the employment rates overall but with greater flexibility for those aged 50 or older to continue careers. The need for stakeholders [for example individuals, Government, businesses] to assume responsibility for tackling the ageing issue is outlined in the theme ‘Society for all ages’ and backed up by a new Equalities Bill.

Further details

Resource type
working paper

Peter Boden

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