We live in a rapidly ageing society, as life expectancy increases whilst birth rates stabilise or decline. By 2007, the number of Britons aged over 65 will exceed the number of those aged under 16 for the first time.
The public debate about this demographic revolution has mainly focused on the impact an increasingly old population will have on the future of pension provisions and the potentially negative impact for welfare and care services.
However, what has largely been ignored is that, in connection with this demographic revolution, we will also experience radical attitudinal changes, as the large post-war baby boomer generation reaches retirement age within the next twenty years. The baby boomers, having throughout their lives been at the forefront of radical attitudinal and social change, are different to current generations of older people and will redefine the meaning of retirement.
In order to understand the implications and consequences of the baby boomers' retirement and to make the transformation a positive experience for all, we need to understand the baby boomers, their attitudes and values.
'The New Old' is an agenda setting report presenting the initial findings of a joint project between Demos and Age Concern. The report explores the challenges the retirement of the baby boomers will present to society and begins to develop a long-term strategy for an ageing society.