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Charity consortium challenges baby boomer myth

Published on 17 August 2015 11:01 PM

Charity consortium urges 'grown up conversation' about old age

Ready for Ageing Alliance challenges the 'myth of the baby boomer'

A new report by the Ready for Ageing Alliance seeks to bust the widely touted myth that there is a uniform group of older people in the UK - so called baby boomers - who have benefitted at the expense of younger age groups.

The report by the Ready for Ageing Alliance - a group of major national charities interested in our ageing society - presents compelling evidence that baby boomers (in this report defined as between the ages of 55-70) are in fact a diverse group of people in virtually every aspect of their lives.

The report argues that in reality, one of the few things this group shares is chronological age. The Ready for Ageing Alliance argues that the term 'baby boomer' has become an overused and potentially dangerous shorthand to inaccurately describe everybody in a single age group.

Evidence revealed in the report includes:

  • Whilst many boomers have benefitted from house price inflation, just under half of those aged 55-64 in England fully own their property and 24% are still renting.
  • Whilst some boomers can expect to live a long time in good health, men in the most deprived parts of the England can expect to live to 52.2 years in good health compared with 70.5 years in the least deprived areas. 6.7 million people aged 45-64 have a long standing illness or a disability.
  • Whilst some boomers benefitted from free further education, under one in five of those aged 55-64 in the UK have a degree.
  • Whilst some boomers will retire with good pension provision, almost three in 10 of 55-64 year olds in Great Britain do not have any pension savings (nearly two million people).

David Sinclair, spokesperson for the Ready for Ageing Alliance, said:

'The term "baby boomer" seems to be increasingly used to inflame divisions and resentment between younger and older generations.

'The report highlights that whilst some boomers are ageing successfully, there is huge diversity in income, wealth and experiences of those aged 55-70.

'Our ageing society will impact on both young and older people. Today's younger people are tomorrow's older.

'If we are to ensure that our increasingly ageing society is prosperous for all future generations, we must find ways of bring older and younger together rather than pitch them against each other.'

 The myth of the baby boomer (PDF 384 KB)opens link in new window



Please contact Liz Fairweather at Age UK's Press Office on 020 3033 1718 or for more information.

Alternatively contact David Sinclair at ILC-UK on 020 7340 0440, 07543 646992 or

Spokespeople available

Caroline Abrahams, Age UK

George McNamara, Alzheimers Society

Simon Peyton and Mario Ambrosi, Anchor

Emily Holzhausen, Carers UK

Gilly Crosby at Centre for Policy on Ageing

Andrew Kaye at Independent Age

David Sinclair, International Longevity Centre - UK (ILC-UK)

Claire Turner, Joseph Rowntree Foundation


The above named individuals are available for interviews.

The members of the Ready for Ageing Alliance are: Age UK, Alzheimer's Society, Anchor, Carers UK, Centre for Policy on Ageing, the International Longevity Centre - UK (ILC-UK), Independent Age, Joseph Rowntree Foundation

The report will be available at and the websites of other alliance members on 18 August 2015.

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Last updated: Oct 06 2017

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