Real Bodies pp 167-184 | Cite as

The Ageing Body

  • Hazel Biggs


In 1999 there were 10.6 million older people aged 65 and above in the UK, representing 18.11 per cent of the total population. Estimates suggest that by 2021 there will be in excess of 12 million such people. Predictions that over the next 30 years the number of people over 65 in Britain will increase by 50 per cent are regarded as broadly accurate, confirming that the proportion of the population that has retired from contributing to the economy is increasing year on year. Similar percentage figures apply to most other western countries and statistics like these have been used to describe a ‘demographic time bomb’ that will lead to the collapse of economies and state welfare provision as more and more older people make ever greater demands on welfare resources.


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Further reading

  1. Featherstone M. and Wernick A. (eds), Images of Ageing: Cultural Representations of Later Life (London: Routledge, 1995).Google Scholar
  2. A collection of essays, from international contributors, which addresses themes such as images of ageing used by governments in health education campaigns, gender images of ageing, experience and identity in old age, and, illness and death.Google Scholar
  3. Kaim-Caudle, R. Keithlry, J. and Mullender A. (eds), Aspects of Ageing (London: Whiting & Birch, 1993).Google Scholar
  4. Another collection of essays which provide intriguing and multicultural insights into a range of aspects and experiences of ageing.Google Scholar
  5. Mullan, P. The Imaginary Time Bomb: Why an Ageing Population is not a Social Problem (London: I.B. Taurus, 2000).Google Scholar
  6. A fascinating study of the socio-political implications of ageing, that challenges many contemporary concerns about the ‘problem’ of the ageing population.Google Scholar

Ageing and Society

  1. An international journal published bimonthly, devoted to contributing to the understanding of human ageing, from the behavioural sciences and humanities.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Hazel Biggs 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hazel Biggs

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