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Published on 01 October 2010 05:00 PM

The Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA) has released detailed single year of age population estimates of the number of persons aged 85 years and over in Northern Ireland.

The figures show that:

  • in June 2009, 28,700 people or around 1.6% of the population were aged 85 years and over;
  • the population aged 85 and over has increased by 5,100 people (+22%) in the seven year period between June 2002 and June 2009;
  • in this period, the population aged 85 and over has grown four times faster than the overall population (22% growth for those aged 85 and over, against 5% growth for the whole population);
  • within the population aged 85 and over, women significantly outnumber men at 70% of this population group;
  • it is estimated that in June 2009 there were just under 200 centenarians (those aged 100 and over) living in Northern Ireland, with the number of centenarians living in Northern Ireland having increased by around 50% since June 2002; and
  • by 2021, the number of persons aged 85 and over in Northern Ireland is projected to increase by 67% to 47,900 persons. Going further into the future, by 2033 the population aged 85 and over is projected to account for 4% of the total population (or 1 person in every 25).

The detailed report can be accessed on the NISRA website at:
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The Northern Ireland mid-year population estimate relates to the usually resident population of Northern Ireland at 30 June each year.

Population estimates of those aged 85 and over are provisional. The method used to estimate the size of the 85 and over population is an internationally recognised standard approach known as the Kannisto-Thatcher method. This method requires previous years’ estimates to be revised when a new year of death registration data is added. A detailed description of the Kannisto-Thatcher method is available at:
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The Office for National Statistics and the General Register Office for Scotland have produced population estimates for those aged 90 and over in the UK, England & Wales and Scotland using the same methodology. UK wide statistics releases have been planned to coincide with the United Nations International Day of Older Persons – 1 October 2010.

Further statistical information can be obtained from NISRA Customer Services:

Telephone: 028 9034 8160
Fax: 028 9034 8161
Responsible statistician: Dr Jos Ijpelaar

For more information: Call Age NI Advice: 0808 808 7575