Our ageing society – what people think.


A recent survey from Saga Populus interviewed 12,058 people over the age of 50 between 17-24 September 2018, to examine opinions on lifestyle, expenditure and aspirations. The aim of the survey was to explore people’s perspective on issues that arise from living longer. The results were shown across 4 age bands to help identify any trends or differences of opinion. 

Below is a highlight of some of the key findings from the survey and what we think it tells us about attitudes in the mature market.

Which three experiences give you the most enjoyment in life?

The top three experiences were spending time with family (71% of total respondents), going on holiday (59%) and spending time with friends (50%). 


74% of female respondents chose spending time with family, compared to 68% of male respondents. Going on holiday was the second most enjoyable experience across the 4 age groups. However, it was notable that the older age group of 90+ years rated this as their third most enjoyable experience as opposed to the second most enjoyable experience in comparison to the other age groups.

Which of the following issues do you worry most about?


35% of respondents worried most about their health. Of this response there was little difference between genders with 36% of men and 34% of women saying their health worried them.

Social care

The cost of social care was a particular worry to those within the higher age groups. 13%, 14% and 20% respectively of 70-79, 80-89 and 90+ year olds cited this as a concern compared to 6% and 9% of 50-59 and 60-69 years olds.

Another interesting insight from the data is that the higher the social status of the respondent the more concerned they were to the question of the cost of social care. 11% of AB compared to only 7% of DE social class. 61% of all respondents were worried about the impact on society of an ageing population. 


No worries

13% of all respondents said they didn’t have any worries. Of these 15% were men compared to 11% of women. Interestingly, 20% of the older age group of 90+ said that they had no worries compared to 11% in the younger age group of 50-59 years. 

The results were also fairly consistent throughout the UK. On the question of having no worries the scores were slightly better in the East Midlands, North West and Northern Ireland.

What are the main societal issues arising from people living longer?

The need to redesign health and care services to suit an ageing population was noted by 87% of respondents as the main societal issue arising for longevity. This was closely followed by the need for people of all ages to plan and prepare financially for living longer which resulted in 75% of total respondents.

However, it is worth noting that 65% of all respondents felt that ageing was ‘great and something to be celebrated’, with a further 53% stating that they felt this offered ‘new exciting opportunities for people and the wider community’.

For more information on the survey results click here

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