Will there be a million more over 70s in 2020?
19th Jun 2015
"Within 5 years we will be looking after a million more over 70s"—Jeremy Hunt, 19 June 2015
The ageing population is one of the main sources of pressure on the health service and indeed the government's finances.
This is correct. The Office for National Statistics estimate that there will be around 1.4 million more people aged 70 and over in the population in 2020 than there are in 2015, and it's fair to say that the general practitioners Mr Hunt was talking about will be looking after us all.
The share of the population aged over 70 is also rising.
The ageing population is likely to put major pressure on public finances in the long run as the ratio of elderly to working age citizens rises, according to the Office for Budget Responsibility. Without tax rises or spending cuts, government debt could end up on an unsustainable path.
UPDATE 19 Jun 2015: We added the words "and it's fair to say that the general practitioners Mr Hunt was talking about will be looking after us all" to address explicitly what Mr Hunt meant in context by "we will be looking after" the over 70s.