Warning of ‘funeral time bomb’ in UK as population ages

death rates

The UK death rate has reached a tipping point with numbers of deaths expected soon to begin rising after falling for decades, suggests a report. The oldest of the post war baby-boom generation, born in 1945, will turn 70 this year says the International Longevity Centre (ILC-UK). The number of deaths is likely to rise 20% over the next 20 years, suggests an analysis of official figures. The increase is likely to push up funeral prices, say the authors.

Since the 1990s the number of deaths in the UK has seen a downward trend, but this is about to reverse, says the report, The Funeral Time bomb, to be published on Monday. Almost 16m children were born in the 20 years after World War Two, peaking at 881,026 in 1947, say the authors.

“As a result of their ageing, the proportion of our population aged over 65 is projected to rise from around 18% today to over 22%. “The greying of the baby boomers also means that an increasing number and proportion of the UK population are nearing the end of their lives. “The resulting inevitable increase in the number of deaths coincides with the significant increases in funeral costs which are already at an all-time high.”

With life expectancy for men in this group of 86 and for women of 89, annual deaths in the UK are expected to reach 627,000 by 2037, compared with 521,000 this year, says the report. Via Warning of ‘funeral time bomb’ in UK as population ages

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