demographics

Ukip leader Nigel Farage (left) and Conservative MP for Clacton-on-Sea Douglas Carswell who has announced he is defecting to the eurosceptic party

A “seaside strategy” is being deployed by the UK Independence party in the run-up to next year’s general election which will see the eurosceptic party target seven seats in faded coastal areas of the UK.

Of the leaked list of 12“most wanted” seats where Ukip will concentrate its campaigning, half include seaside resorts, including South Thanet – where party leader Nigel Farage is standing – plus Skegness and Great Yarmouth. The addition of Clacton-on-Sea, whose Tory MP Douglas Carswell announced his surprise defection to Ukip last week, makes seven.

All seven constituencies produced impressive victories for the Conservative party in the 2010 general election – on average, the Tories achieved a 23 per cent majority and a 49 per cent share of the vote. Where Ukip fielded a candidate, its average share was just 6.3 per cent.

However, the deprived demographics of Britain’s coastal towns mean that Ukip is finding increasing support beside the seaside. Fast forward four years, and the eurosceptic party took the greatest share of the vote in May’s European elections in all seven of the seaside towns where it has pledged to fight the Tories on the beaches. Read more

Emily Cadman

Latest official statistics released on Respect the Aged Day in Japan mark a symbolic milestone for the country with just shy of 32 million people – a quarter of the overall population – now over 65-years-old. (Hat tip to my colleague Ben McLannahan for spotting the numbers.)

Japan’s statistics agency also estimates that by 2035 the proportion of elderly people will rise to over 33 per cent.

Last year the IMF estimated that Japan’s working age population in 2050 would have fallen to the same size as it was at the end of the Second World War. Read more

Anyone wondering why the issue of paying for long-term care is rising so swiftly up the political agenda need look no further than the latest UK census.

Much of the conversation about older people to date has revolved around estimates of the future numbers of elderly who will need care. Projections for the number of over-85s by 2031 have been steadily revised upwards in the past couple of decades:

2013 aging projections

But there has been little focus on what has already happened. Read more

Guest post by Paul Hodges

The G20 group represents 79 per cent of global GDP. But when it comes to demographics, you can split its membership into three quite distinct groups.

This shows each country in terms of GDP per capita and median population age, with its economy’s size depicted by the bubble:

  • Rich but old. These are wealthy western countries, with GDP per capita around $40,000 and median population age of 40 years
  • Poor but young. These are emerging economies, with GDP per capita around $10,000 and median population ages of 25 to 30 years
  • Poor and ageing. This group contains just China and Russia, who have GDP per capita around $10,000 but median population ages approaching 40 years

 Read more