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Diverse Population Gives The North Economic Advantage

Report claims ageing, ethnic mix is good for Manchester's growth

Written by . Published on September 15th 2011.

Diverse Population Gives The North Economic Advantage

A GROWING, ageing and more ethnically diverse population could provide the North of England with opportunities for economic growth, according to a new report.

The N8 Research Partnership, which comprises the North’s leading universities, including Manchester, focused on demographic change in key Northern cities and city-region economies over the next 25 years.

“The research does not support apocalyptic visions of a demographic time bomb, but it does show clearly how our population is changing."

The report highlights potential economic opportunities which could result from a changing population, including the creation of more 'silver entrepreneurs', a bigger market in health technologies and care services and opportunities for the construction industry as homes have to be built or adapted to meet the needs of a growing and ageing population, many more of whom will be living with long-term illnesses.

According to the report, the North of England’s population - currently 15.1m - could increase over the next 25 years by as much as 1.82m. The number of people with Limiting Long Term Illnesses could increase from 3.2m to 4.1m by 2036. The North’s labour force could also fall by four per cent to 6.7m.

The research team included experts in economics, employment, enterprise, geography, urban and regional development, demography and health from the Universities of Manchester, Durham, Leeds, Liverpool and Newcastle.

Professor Ray Hudson who led the research said: “The research does not support apocalyptic visions of a demographic time bomb, but it does show clearly how our population is changing and that there are important economic implications – both opportunities and challenges.

“Most Northern City-regions’ populations are growing, ageing and becoming more diverse, but the patterns of change vary between places. We need to look at these patterns carefully, grasp the opportunities and address the challenges.” 

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