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Ageing population

Herefordshire has higher proportions of residents in their early fifties and above than nationally and generally lower relative proportions of young people – see ‘Population pyramid’ in related documents for an illustration of how Herefordshire’s age structure compares with England & Wales.

Numbers in the older age groups have been growing at a disproportionately high rate in Herefordshire and people aged 65 and over currently account for around a quarter of the county’s total population. This age group is expected to continue growing at a high rate with numbers aged 85+ rising even more rapidly.

Herefordshire’s working age population grew by around 5,000 in the few years following the expansion of the EU in 2004, largely as a result of younger working age adults moving into the county from the EU. However, numbers have remained relatively static over the last 10 years.

There remains a similar proportion of children in Herefordshire (17%) as nationally (19%). Numbers had been declining in Herefordshire throughout the whole of the last decade, but began to rise gradually at the beginning of this decade due to an increase in the birth rate and migration levels. However, a more recent decline in fertility rates will mean that this growth is likely to peak within three years prior to declining.