The State of Ageing in 2020
About this event
The picture described here through analysing nationally-available data shows how people across England are ageing. It shows the state of our health, our finances and our communities when COVID-19 hit and the impact it has had so far.
The pervasiveness of poor health, unsafe and low-quality housing, and a lack of social connections – particularly among the poorest in our society – has exacerbated the impact of the pandemic on those who already faced the most challenging prospects in later life. People currently in their 50s and 60s who lose their jobs now are at risk of falling out of the labour market for good. COVID-19 will deepen some of these inequalities yet further – but it did not create them.
The impact of this will be felt more sharply across society in the next 20 years, as greater numbers of people reach their 60s, 70s and 80s. If the current trajectory is allowed to continue, the gap between those who are able to enjoy later life and those who struggle through it will be even wider for future generations than it is for the present one – with grave consequences for society.
This is not inevitable. The current crisis has galvanised public and political support for changes that can create a society where we can all live healthier, fuller, more connected lives – whether that’s changing the economy, or our environment, or becoming more actively involved in our communities.¹ We know what needs to be done to change course. We need bold leaders to take action and create the radical improvements we need to secure a better future for us all. Now more than ever we need the government to reaffirm its active commitment to ensuring people can enjoy five more healthy, independent years of life by 2035, while narrowing the gap between the experience of the richest and poorest across our nation.