The lead administration for the Demography work sector is the Scottish Government.
Demographic changes are being faced by all British-Irish Council Member Administrations. By 2035 the number of people aged 50+ is projected to rise by 28% and the number aged 75+ is projected to increase by 82%.
A changing society has implications across a wide range of areas. These include the demand for, and provision of, public services such as health, education and transport including their scale, type and location. It also has implications for the size and composition of the working population and the creation of the wealth necessary to provide public services and fund future pension contributions.
Demography was adopted by the Council as an area of mutual interest at the eighth Summit in London in June 2006. In March 2008, Ministers supported, in principle, a work plan for the work sector centred on key themes on understanding migration and its impact; healthy independent ageing, investigating policy interventions, fertility, and student flows.
The work sector’s previous area of focus was on understanding the implications of wider student flows amongst the BIC Member Administrations.
In 2016 the work sector has met three times: in London in April, in Guernsey in July and in the Isle of Man in October. In addition to considering the demographic data and trends relevant to the administrations and considering analytical insights from members and elsewhere (e.g. OECD, UNECE), the group is undertaking a project to understand the demographic drivers of the redesign of public services across the eight administrations, with an initial focus on an ageing population. Several aspects of ‘redesign’ are being explored. The group comprises both analysts and policy officials, and will use a number of innovative approaches in their work with the aim of presenting findings and recommendations to Ministers later in 2016.