Page last updated at 14:03 GMT, Tuesday, 8 June 2010 15:03 UK

Number of elderly to rise two-thirds by 2031

Elderly man in wheelchair
The wealth of older people also varies from region to region

The number of people aged 65 and over is expected to rise by nearly two-thirds to reach 15.8 million by 2031, according to newly released figures.

More than one in five of the UK's population will be 65 or over by 2031.

Northern Ireland, the East Midlands and eastern England are expected to have the highest increases in this group. London is predicted to have the lowest.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) said the highest percentages are in south-west England and Wales.

In the south-west of England, 39% of its population is over 50 and in Wales 37% of its population.

London and Northern Ireland had the lowest percentages of people aged 50 and over at 26% and 31% respectively.

A net figure of almost 25,000 people aged 50 years and over left London between mid-2007 and mid-2008.

The figures also showed that how well-off the over-50s are varies from region to region.

Employment rates for those aged between 50 and the state pension age were at the highest in south-east England and lowest in Northern Ireland.

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