chapter  4
21 Pages

Demographic Ageing in Rural Areas: Insights from the UK and US


Evidence of demographic ageing, which may be defi ned as ‘both the increase in the average age of the population as well as the increasing number or proportion of older people in the population’ (Blake 2009, 43), is to be found in cities, small towns and remote rural communities. It is useful to consider ageing in a rural context because rural areas are often the fi rst to experience a signifi cant ageing of their population and they can thus be considered to be a ‘test-bed’ for how ageing may affect national populations as a whole. In the fi rst two sections of this chapter, drawing upon various secondary data sources, patterns and processes of ageing in the UK and US will be illustrated and distinctive rural characteristics of this demographic trend will be highlighted. The implications of rural demographic ageing, both positive and negative, will be the focus of the third section of the chapter, with challenges and opportunities for rural areas associated with demographic ageing being reviewed.