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EDITIONS
 Wednesday, 22 January, 2003, 09:15 GMT
Old age league tables revealed
Pensioners shopping
More than 26% of the Conwy population are pensioners
Conwy has a larger proportion of elderly residents than any other region in Wales, according to analysis of the latest census figures.

The county topped a league table published by the GMB union, with more than one in four of the population eligible to draw a pension.

Pensioners generic
More pensioners are moving to rural areas

GMB's analysis of the April 2001 census showed males aged 65 or older and females over the age of 60 accounted for 28,856 of the 109,597 people living in Conwy.

That is 26.33% of the county's population compared to an average figure of 20.07% in Wales and 18.4% in the UK.

Denbighshire was second in the tables with 23.16% of the population of pensionable age.

Powys, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire, Gwynedd, Isle of Anglesey, Ceredigion, Neath Port Talbot and Swansea all had more than 20% of the population at pensionable age.

The 2001 census figures showed the population of Wales had grown by 2.4% since 1991, a faster growth rate than in the 1970s or 1980s.

On average, the proportion of people eligible for a pension in Wales as a whole remained the same at about a fifth of the population.

Policy challenge

But the increasingly common pattern of people retiring from other parts of the country to the north Wales coast presents a challenge for local government.

Paul Kenny, GMB official and member of the TUC General Council, said: "These figures need to be carefully studied by policy makers.

"On the one hand they point to pensioners continuing to move from the urban areas to the seaside town and rural counties.

"This may point to the need for additional resources in the NHS and social services in those areas.

"On the other the low proportion of persons of pensionable age in the inner cities may mean that the pensioners who remain are likely to be the poorer pensioners," he said.

According to Age Concern Cymru, Wales has the highest percentage of elderly population (aged 65 plus) in the UK.

By 2020 the UK will have the highest percentage of those over the age of 60 in the European Union.

See also:

30 Sep 02 | Wales
30 Sep 02 | Wales
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