The definition from dictionary.com is "the statistical data of a population, especially those showing average age, income, education, etc. " often this relates to current data, but in the case of older people demographics is often used as part of the evidence base and in discussions around the forecasts for our ageing population.
I was shown this table the other day which provides a perfect example of demographics in Cambridgeshire in terms of increases in the older population.
Total population aged 18-64
People aged 65-69
People aged 70-74
People aged 75-79
People aged 80-84
People aged 85-89
People aged 90 and over
Total population 65 and over
Total Cambridgeshire Population
Let's be plain - this comes about largely (but not entirely) because people are living longer - that is a great thing. But it also places a burden on social care services because we have to cope with an increasing number of people who need support. The challenge is how we deal with this in a world where we have less resource. These demographics are also the reason why the need for urgent reform of Health and Social Care is being reinforced to Government. Social Care is the biggest single item of spend in Cambridgeshire with a budget of around £188m. This graph, known as the Barnet Graph of Doom, shows how by 2030 Barnet could have no money to spend on anything other than children and adults - so no highways, libraries or anything else!
I would challenge this slightly. I believe there are ways we can get more efficient - for instance by making sure we are smarter with how we use technology to support vulnerable older people, and by being more preventative - for example by reducing isolation which has a huge impact on the health of older people (which is why our recently proposed Community Navigator scheme is important).
There are also bigger picture issues like better integration of health and social care to make it more seamless - which I think offers cost and service benefits (health care is provided via the NHS to provide support at home such as Occupational Therapy whereas Social Care provides basic services such as cleaning and is supported by the County Council and is sometimes charged for).
Interestingly, as I have been writing this I have been pointed to this interesting article about Health and Social Care, which explains some of the issues Nationally.